If you’re looking for a great chicken dish for your next dinner party or family event, this company chicken with citrus, carrots, prunes and pistachios is a great choice. It boasts oranges and lemons for zest, honey and prunes for sweetness, grainy mustard, garlic, onion and thyme for depth and chili flakes for a kick of heat. Add a little crunch and colour from pistachios, carrots and parsley – and you get an earthy, complex and beautiful dish that is certainly company-worthy.
The whole thing can be made a day ahead (or in the morning) and popped into the oven before serving, making this chicken dish a real stress-reducer for entertaining. The recipe is from a favourite of mine, Once Upon a Chef who, in turn, adapted it from a New York Times recipe by Melissa Clark. I’ve blended the two versions with a tweak of two more. The recipe is forgiving, so a little more of this, a little less of that is fine. I suggest adding a bit more orange juice or some broth if you like more sauce.
You can also play with the seasonings as you like. For example, add a Moroccan profile with some cumin, cinnamon and coriander. Or substitute the prunes with dates, apricots or raisins. And don’t be afraid of using a whole lemon, cut into to thin pieces and blanched. The lemon rind adds a deep but mellow lemon bite with no bitterness. It’s optional, but very worth it I think, especially if you like lemon.
Serve the chicken with couscous, rice, noodles or quinoa.