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 chicken dish for your next dinner party or family event, this company chicken dish 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 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, noodles, mashed potatoes or quinoa.
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 Company Chicken
- 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.
Company Chicken with Citrus Sauce and Pistachios
- 1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 large orange, zest and juice (for extra sauce add juice of another 1/2 - 1 orange)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp grainy mustard
- 6 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh)
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes (or less, to taste)
- 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water (optional) Note 1
- 3 cups 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)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or cilantro)
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped
- 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.
- 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.
- Make Ahead: The whole dish can be made a day ahead (or in the morning) and popped into the oven before serving.
This recipe, first published in 2016, has been updated with additional information and better pictures.
Other company chicken dishes you might like: