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Company Chicken with Citrus Sauce and Pistachios

Company chicken with citrus, carrots, prunes & pistachios is a treat for the eyes, taste buds and cook (make-ahead). The flavors blend beautifully and the presentation is eye-popping.

If you’re looking for a great dinner party chicken recipe for your next family or friends event, this company chicken dish is a great choice.

company chicken with citrus, carrots, prunes and pistachios

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 color from pistachios, carrots and parsley and you get an earthy, complex and beautiful dish that is certainly company worthy.

The recipe is by Jennifer Segal, a favorite chef of mine from 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 or two more.

The recipe is forgiving, so a little more of this, a little less of that is fine.  Serve the chicken with couscous, curried rice, knishes with root vegetable mash, noodles, mashed potatoes or quinoa. 

If you’re entertaining with this company chicken recipe, here’s an article on how to keep food warm that might be helpful. 

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are a few tweaks and variations to consider.

  • Play with the seasonings.  For example, add a Moroccan profile with some cumin, cinnamon and coriander.
  • Substitute the prunes with dates, apricots or raisins.
  • The blanched lemon is optional, but very worth it I think, especially if you like lemon. When blanched, the lemon rind adds a deep but mellow lemon bite with no bitterness.
  • Thicken the sauce slightly if you like with a cornstarch slurry. I always do this.
  • To make the dish more sauce-y, add extra orange juice or broth.

Make Ahead

  • The whole dish 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.

Other party chicken recipes you might like

How to make company chicken with citrus sauce and pistachios

Chicken. lemon, orange, honey, pistachios, carrots, parsley, Dijon, green onions, prunes, garlic, onion, Pistachios
Ingredients: Chicken. lemon, orange, honey, pistachios, carrots, parsley, Dijon, green onions, prunes, garlic, onion, Pistachios
blanched lemons in pot
Blanch sliced lemons on the stove.
company chicken with citrus, carrots, prunes marinating in ziploc
Make the marinade. Add the fruits and vegetables. Place it all in a sealed bag with the chicken. Massage to coat evenly. Marinate for 6 hours or overnight in fridge.
company chicken with citrus, carrots, prunes and pistachios on pan
Roast chicken at 400F/204C for 35-40 minutes, then broil for 3-5 minutes when ready to serve.
company chicken with citrus, carrots, prunes and pistachios
Garnish with pistachios and green onions. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

company chicken with ctirus sauce smothered in carrots, onions, prunes and pistachios

company chicken breast with citrus and pistachios on plate
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4.61 from 28 votes

Company Chicken with Citrus Sauce and Pistachios

This company chicken with citrus, carrots, prunes & pistachios is a treat for the eyes, taste buds and cook (make-ahead). The flavors blend beautifully.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds (1.8kg) chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Marinade

  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 large orange, zest and juice (for extra sauce add juice of another 1/2 - 1 orange)
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 6 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (or less, to taste)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water (optional) Note 1

Vegetables/Fruits

  • 3 cups (450g) carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick or less)
  • 1 lemon, to be cut up and blanched (optional, but great!)
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup prunes, roughly chopped (or use dates, raisins or apricots)

Garnish

  • 1/4 cup (12g) chopped fresh parsley (or cilantro)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped

Instructions

  • PREPARE MARINADE: Put all marinade ingredients in a large sealed bag. Squish it around to blend ingredients.
  • PREPARE VEGETABLES/FRUIT: For blanched lemon: cut lemon into quarters and remove seeds. Slice each quarter into thin wedges. Place into small pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then drain. Add lemon wedges, prunes, carrots and onions to the bag with the marinade.
  • MARINATE CHICKEN: Add chicken pieces to bag with marinade. Seal and massage to coat chicken, fruits and vegetables well. Place in fridge to marinate for 6 hours or overnight. If really short on time, marinate for 30 minutes on the counter.
  • ROAST CHICKEN: Preheat oven to 400F. Transfer chicken, marinade and vegetables to a rimmed pan lined with foil and sprayed with oil. Chicken should be skin side up. Roast for 35 minutes until lightly browned (if chicken is larger, you may need 40 minutes). An instant thermometer piercing the breast should read about 155-160F. Stir carrots. Turn on broiler. Leave chicken on middle rack. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until crispy, golden brown (watching carefully so it doesn't burn).
  • GARNISH AND SERVE: Put chicken, vegetables and sauce onto a platter. Garnish with parsley, green onions and pistachios. Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. To thicken Sauce (optional): If you prefer as slightly thickened sauce like I do, add a slurry of cornstarch to the marinade (1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with one tbsp. water) and mix it in well. 
  2. Make Ahead: The whole dish can be made a day ahead (or in the morning) and popped into the oven before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 750kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 1416mg | Potassium: 1090mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 13790IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?We'd love you to rate it above under 'rate this recipe' or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This recipe, first published in  2016, has been updated with additional information and better pictures.

 

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7 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My daughter Townsand and I made this for our family tonight. The prep through the end product brought us so much joy! It almost killed me following a recipe exactly as written but, boy am I glad that we did. Perfection. Thank you !

    1. I’m delighted to hear the recipe worked so well. But most of all that you enjoyed making it so much with your daughter. Such a lovely comment!

  2. This is a delicious recipe!!!
    I added a little cumin, a bay leaf and white wine to the broth. I used mixed dried fruits (great for the indecisive like me!) I raised the heat to 425F for the last ten minutes, which had the effect of browning the chicken, so it only needed one minute under the broiler. I also removed most of the blanched lemon peel before baking, as it has done it’s magic already…
    Some other ideas:
    – This recipe feeds a lot of people… so if it’s just two of you for dinner, try dividing it into portions and freeze it for a “snowy” day. (I will report on the results in the dead of winter!)
    – if you do this,maybe double the marinade, as some of it will get absorbed further into the chicken and it may not be as saucy as you would like once defrosted and baked. Do you think it would work to freeze half of the marinade separately, to add to the defrosted chicken and veg on that cold January day? 🙂
    – you could also add sweet potatoes to the recipe…
    This is a delicious recipe, definitely suitable for company! Thanks 2 Kooks!! 🙂

  3. Added a few extra legs to make sure I had leftovers and everyone raved about it. My husband says it’s the best chicken he’s ever had!

  4. The citrusy chicken was great. I made it with boneless skinless chicken breasts (which cause they were crowded in a big pyrex dish still took about 35-40 minutes but remained juicy. I made it with Jerusalem couscous and had it the couscous with the veggies and sauce on the 3rd day.