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Roast Chicken with Kumquats

Roast Chicken with Kumquats

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Rub the chicken with peanut oil, season with kosher salt, to taste and set out on the countertop for 30 minutes or so to take the chill off before cooking.

Using your fingers, gently slide a bay leaf under the skin on each side of the breast. Cut 4 of the kumquats lengthwise into thin slices and push them under the skin next to the bay leaves.

Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a 12-inch or larger cast-iron frying pan or a 5-quart larger Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, chile powder, cumin seeds, and ¼ teaspoon salt and sauté for 3-5 minutes.

When the onion is soft and just beginning to brown on the edges, scrape out the spices and onion to a plate and set aside. Set the chicken in the hot pan and brown on the sides and bottom, 8-10 minutes. Return the onion-spice mixture to the pan, pour in the orange juice and stock, and tuck the remaining kumquats around the chicken.

Put the chicken in the oven and roast for 30 minutes before either inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of a thigh or cutting into the thigh with a paring knife. The thermometer should register 175 degrees. (If using a knife, look for clear, not red or pink, juices running from the spot where you pierced the meat and opaque, barely pink flesh at the bone.) If the chicken isn’t done, roast for 5 or 10 minutes longer and check it again.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and let rest. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion and kumquats to a small bowl. Pour the liquid from the pan into a fat separator. (You can also use a heatproof jar and use a spoon to skim off as much fat as you can.) Return the defatted liquid to the pan and simmer over medium heat until reduced by ½. (You may skip this step if you have very little liquid left — this will depend on your chicken, your pan, and your oven.) Return the onion and kumquats to the sauce and stir briefly, just to heat them.

Arrange the orange slices in a circle on a large platter and place the chicken on top. Pour the sauce over the bird. Carve the chicken at the table, serving each person 1 hot orange slice to begin their plate.

Kumquat Chicken with Kumquat Hoisin Sauce

Kumquats are winter fruits that start appearing in the grocery stores in late November through March. This year, they seem to be a little late but I was delighted to see them and promptly picked out two bags. These tiny, bright orange oval fruits have a sweet rind and a tart flesh. They can be eaten raw and are pretty refreshing. I usually cut them in half to remove the seeds before popping them into my mouth. Kumquats can also be candied, made into marmalade and preserves, pickled, or cooked with meats for a citrusy flavor.

Roasted Chicken Breast with Buddha’s Hand Citron, Kumquats and Dates

Some people can’t resist a gorgeous handbag or a swell looking tie. But for me, it’s about food. So, when I saw this strange looking fruit that’s in the top photo yesterday there was no question about it, I had to buy it.

It’s called Buddha’s Finger Citron. A citrus member of course, with skin like lemon, and with a bitter taste. It’s not the kind of fruit you eat out of hand like an orange or pear. In fact, it’s mostly used as a table decoration or cooked as candy (with lots of sugar) or marmalade (with lots of sugar).

I’d used citron before, but only the candied kind (for fruitcake and such). I wasn’t sure what to do with this thing.

Thanks thanks for the internet.

After doing a little research and then getting into experimental mode, I decided to pair it with kumquats, which are also bitter, but also dates, which are devastatingly sweet, so there would be some ying-yang of flavor to the chicken breast I was going to roast for dinner.

The results were delicious.

The Buddha’s Finger Citron gave a haunting, deep lemony taste to the pan juices. The citron remained bitter, the kind of taste you either love or hate, appealing to those who like candied fruit-studded fruitcake/Panettone/Panforte and so on, or, on the other hand, distressing to those who purposely pick the chopped up candied fruit out of those desserts.

Fortunately (or not) you can make the recipe without the citron — add a strip or two of lemon peel and remove it before serving.

If you bought one of these too, you can make candy or marmalade. Or use the skin as you would lemon peel (for vinaigrette, marinades, scattered on top of fish, etc.) Or to flavor vodka or a cocktail or holiday punch.

Roasted Chicken Breast with Buddha’s Hand Citron, Kumquats and Dates

  • 1/4 cup diced Buddha’s hand citron
  • 8-10 kumquats, cut up and seeded
  • 8-12 large Medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Place the citron, kumquats, dates and onion in a roasting pan. Place the chicken breasts on top. Rub the surface of the chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, ginger, cinnamon and cumin. Roast for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to 350 degrees. Roast for another 15 minutes. Mix the orange juice and honey and pour over the chicken. Continue to roast, basting occasionally, for another 30 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the chicken is cooked through (160 degrees on a meat thermometer).


Kumquats are in season and that calls for a feast celebration. I just love these little fruit gems of intense citrus aroma and unbelievable taste. I love eating them whole and feel them burst in my mouth. I admit I must have eaten half while making this dish.

Last year I cooked them in a brandied syrup (candied kumquats) and piled them on top of a creamy-dreamy cheesecake. This year I took a more savory route and used them to braise a chicken. The braising liquid transformed into this divine citrusy, aromatic sauce and it was the absolute star of this dish. I served it with the Cypriot version of pilaf (that’s rice cooked with angel hair pasta but that’s another story/recipe) to make sure that the rice absorbed that delicious sauce and not one drop was left on the plate. Otherwise, plate licking would have been in order.


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken, butterflied (ask your butcher to butterfly the chicken or do it your self by cutting the chicken in half with kitchen shears, starting from the neck to the tail. Then push it down with your palms to flatten it as much as possible. But then again… ask your butcher to do it)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced or crushed
  • 2 cups kumquats, sliced (remove pits)
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 Tbs honey
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200 C. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.

In a large skillet, big enough to fit the chicken, add the olive oil and the chicken skin side down, over medium heat. You don’t need to wait for the oil to heat before adding the chicken. Starting from a cool pan, over medium heat, will render the fat better, resulting to a crispier skin. Cook the chicken until you get a nice golden colour on both sides. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside until needed.

Add the onions to the skillet with a pinch of salt and cook until soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so. Add the kumquats and cook for another minute. Pour in the brandy, lemon juice, honey, chicken broth and thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Bring everything the boil.

Return the chicken back to the skillet skin side up. If your skillet cannot be transferred in the oven, place the chicken in an oven pan and pour the contents of the skillet around (not over) the chicken. Transfer skillet or oven pan in the preheated oven and roast uncovered for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is cooked through.

Let chicken rest for 15 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve together with the divine pan juices.

Note: For an interesting presentation, take the chicken out of the oven 10 minutes earlier. Take some of the kumquats from the pan and put them on the chicken. Return chicken to the oven for another 10 minutes. The kumquats on the chicken will caramelize even burn in places. They look nice.

Roast Chicken with Aromatic Jus

Preheat the oven to 425°. Set the chicken, breast side up, in a medium roasting pan. Loosely stuff the cavity with the orange quarters, garlic, scallions and ginger. In a small bowl, mix the salt with the fennel and pepper. Rub the chicken with the sesame oil and season all over with the salt mixture.

Roast the chicken in the center of the oven for 1 hour, or until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 160°. Carefully scoop the aromatics from the cavity into the roasting pan. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, squeeze the juice from the orange quarters and discard the peels. Set the roasting pan over moderately high heat. Add the chicken broth and simmer for 1 minute, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Strain the pan juices into a gravy boat or small serving bowl and spoon off the fat. Carve the chicken and serve with the jus.

Chicken with Kumquats and Roasted Vegetables

Two years ago I bought a pint of beautiful kumquats at the Green Market. I remember having them around the house at least once when I was young, but I don't remember what anybody did with them. I do remember tasting them once. They were sour, and not at all like the oranges they resembled. I did not feel the need to try them again until I saw them at the market.

I had a vague idea of cooking them with chicken, so I put them in the refrigerator and made a mental note to get some chicken during the week. And promptly forgot all about it, until a few of weeks had passed and I ran into them at the back of the produce drawer.

Kumquats, like most citrus, keep pretty well for a while, but these were definitely past their prime. I hate to admit it even now, but I had to throw them away. I did not see any more kumquats at the market that year, so I missed my chance.

I saw them again a year later and yes, I did buy them. I stopped and got chicken on the way home so I would have no reason not to make it right away. I decided to throw the chicken and kumquats into the slow cooker with some sprigs of thyme, onions, white wine and water. I had previously come up with the brilliant idea of painting the rusted inside lid of my water bottle with nail polish to seal the rust and keep it from falling into the water, which it was starting to do.

The dish cooked up beautifully, and smelled heavenly when I lifted the lid off of the slow cooker. I eagerly served up a plate over some brown rice and took a bite. And it did taste good, except that there was a nasty aftertaste that I couldn't quite identify. Until I realized that it tasted the way nail polish smells - a sharp varnish-y smell that goes straight to your brain. Apparently, the fumes from the nail polish permeated the water. It probably would have been ok to eat it, but I couldn't get past that nasty aftertaste. So much for my second attempt.

There was a third attempt. This time I ran into the kumquats at Treasure Island quite unexpectedly. I chopped up all the vegetables and the kumquats and threw them into the slow cooker while I defrosted the chicken that had been in the freezer for a few months. After it was defrosted, I realized it might have been in the freezer longer than I thought (so much for Operation Freezerburn.) Bottom line, I did have a bag full of frozen chicken bones and backs in the freezer as well, and it made some excellent chicken stock. But still, no chicken with kumquats.

Until last weekend. Treasure Island had kumquats again and by now I was determined that I would successfully make this dish. I remembered to buy a chicken at the Apple Market the next day and went to work that night.

With great success. I went with the oven instead of the slow cooker since it's so cold outside. And came up with a winner. Chicken and kumquats are a natural pair. Honey takes away the sourness, and the citrus brightens everything up beautifully.

Home Cookin Chapter: My Recipes

1 2 to 3-pound chicken, cut into quarters
1 pound boiler onions, peeled and halved (large ones quartered), or 1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 pint kumquats
1/4 cup honey
10 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
salt and pepper
olive oil

5 large carrots, sliced on the diagonal 1-and-1/2-inches thick
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 head of garlic cloves, peeled
5-6 medium sized new red potatoes, cut into 1-and-1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.

Cut kumquats in half. Don't worry too much about the seeds, but set aside about 10 halves that look juicy and don't have seeds. Thinly slice those halves.

Pour small amount of olive oil into the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Layer the kumquat halves (not the slices) and onions in the dish. Pour honey evenly over all, then swish everything around until
it is well coated in the oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Lay 6 sprigs of thyme on top.

Arrange chicken pieces over the bed of onions and kumquats. Insert the reserved sliced kumquats under the skin of each piece. Pour another tablespoon or so of oil over the chicken, then season well with salt and pepper. Strip the leaves off of the four thyme sprigs and sprinkle them, along with the marjoram, over the chicken.

Cover with foil and bake for one hour covered, then another half hour uncovered, until chicken is done.

Prepare vegetables while chicken is baking. Arrange in a roasting pan and coat well with olive oil. Add the thyme, salt and pepper (to taste) and mix well. Place in the oven with the chicken and bake until
vegetables are just tender, about 40 minutes.

If the chicken is done before the vegetables, remove from the oven and cover loosely with foil to keep it warm.

Remove the thyme sprigs and discard them. Strain the liquid from the kumquat and onion mixture and use it to make couscous (add water if there is not enough liquid). Discard onions and kumquats.

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This is a very simplified tagine recipe with none of the depth of flavors in the real thing. I would rather put in a little extra effort and make the real thing.

Have made this quite a few times. It's always flavorful and aromatic. To me it tastes better WITHOUT the chicken (or tofu). I know chicken is in the title, but it's sooo good without it. Love the kumquats in it.

This does take a little bit of front-end prep time, but then you get to sit back as all the delightful Moroccan smells float through the house. I love the use of the sour kumquats and the sweet prunes, and the chicken cooks beautifully in the broth for moist and flavorful chicken. This is relatively easy, healthy and delicious meal. The only thing Iɽ change is to add more cumin and cinnamon. Delicious (and so easy) over whole wheat couscous.

Delicious and easy to prepare. I couldn't find kumquats - maybe it's the wrong time of year - but I subsituted an orange, which wasn't necessary. I cut the butternut squash in half and roasted it in the oven until partially cooked in order to make it easier to peel. I also followed another reviewer's advice and floured the chicken before browning. I toasted pumpkin seeds and sprinkled them along with the cilantro on top of the dish. I do love the "sweet meat" dishes and this goes into my file of wonderful cool weather meals!

I was looking for ways to use kumquats in savory dishes. This is a great way! The kumquat rind makes a great, quite thick, sauce with no need to add flour and the citrusy taste is just right. I did not have prunes, so replaced with dried apricots and loved it.

This was delicious! I have made it twice and it will become a permanent staple in my home. I followed another reviewer's advice and coated the chicken in flour before browning. The first time this worked out well, the second time I coated the chicken a little too thoroughly - so watch this because it can get a little gluey. I served this with the incredible date couscous from this site, as well as some grilled zucchini. Highly recommended!

I just discovered cooking with kumquats earlier this year and was pleased to find this delicious chicken recipe. It's very similar to another recipe I've made for years, SPICED MOROCCAN CHICKEN WITH ONIONS AND PRUNES (, so I basically combined the two recipes. I didn't have the squash so I substituted celery root, which worked out fine. Next time I might dredge the chicken in flour before the initial browning just to help the sauce thicken in the end. Kumquats are now out of season but I certainly look forward to making this again next winter!

I love this recipe-it's my favorite to take to pot-lucks. But I make it in a crock-pot. I just throw everything except the oil into the crock-pot. Then, when the chicken is almost cooked, I fish it out, cut the meat off the bones into bite-size pieces, throw these chicken bits back in and cook it awhile longer. It's delicious!!

fabulous and easy. You could also vary it with other winter vegetables. Next tiime I will double the veggie amounts. Two of us ate nearly all of them.

I made this recipe because I had some kumquats to use and I'm always interested in spicy dishes. I was a bit skeptical but it turned out just great! Iɽ never eaten kumquats before but they added just such a nice contrast to the sweet prunes and squash. I used 10 chicken legs instead of a whole chicken. The latest issue of Bon Appetit says that kumquats are one of the next hot topics for cooking. Iɽ recommend others try this.

This recipe smelled fantastic while it cooked, but the taste didn't live up to the smell. The squash and prunes just didn't seem to mix well. However, the chicken was fine -- just not something I'll make again any time soon.

I loved this recipe when I made it last winter. I've literally combed through dozens of cookbooks and on-line recipe files to find the recipe again. The recipe is great for a make-ahead meal as the flavors enhance as they mature. I'm preparing it as a welcome home dish for my brother and sister-in-law who are bringing home their new baby.

A friend of mine made this and as soon as I tasted it, I asked her for the recipe. Great flavors, unusual combination that really works together. Delicious. I plan to make it later this week.

This was one of those dishes that tasted good at the time, but I really didn't feel like eating leftovers the next day. Maybe I just don't love sweet meat dishes.

gag me! The chicken itself was good once I scrapped everything off it. I like the ingredients, but the combination is not good.

This simple recipe is absolutely delicious! It looks very attractive, too, and would be a great meal for guests. Tastes wonderful reheated as well. This is an absolute keeper.

Wonderful, very tasty. I added coarsely ground pepper and some grated fresh ginger. By the way, real couscous is not a grain shaped pasta, it is actually cracked grain. Israeli couscous is a grain shaped pasta.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 red potatoes, cut into large cubes
  • 1 (16 ounce) package carrots, cut diagonally into bite-size pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, cut diagonally into bite-size pieces
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced - divided
  • 1 (4.5 pound) whole chicken
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • garlic powder, or to taste
  • ½ cup cubed margarine, divided
  • 1 large lemon, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 ⅔ tablespoons minced garlic

Preheat oven to 385 degrees F (196 degrees C).

Pour olive oil into a large bowl toss potatoes, carrots, bite-size pieces of celery, and 3/4 of the sliced onion in the oil to coat. Set remaining onion aside. Transfer oiled vegetables to a large cast iron skillet.

Rinse chicken and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Generously season the chicken, inside and out, with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Place the remaining 1/4 of the sliced onion, 1/4 cup margarine, lemon slices, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and large pieces of celery into the cavity of the chicken.

Place the chicken atop the oiled vegetables scatter remaining 1/4 cup of margarine pieces and 1 2/3 tablespoon minced garlic in small amounts around the vegetables.

Roast chicken and vegetables in the preheated oven until the skin is browned and crisp, the vegetables are tender, and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reads 165 degrees F (75 degrees C), about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with vegetables.

Farmhouse roast chicken

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Sit the chicken and garlic bulb in a large sturdy roasting tray, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon each of red wine vinegar and olive oil and rub all over the bird. Roast for 1 hour.

Take the tray out of the oven and use tongs to move the chicken to a plate, laying the bacon over the breasts. Use a potato masher to squash and squeeze the soft garlic out of the skins in the tray, then toss the mushrooms in the juices, tearing any larger ones. Return the tray to the oven. Sit the chicken directly on the bars above and roast for another 20 minutes, or until everything is golden and cooked through.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlicky mushrooms to a serving platter, sitting the chicken on top to rest. Place the tray of juices on a high heat on the hob, add the spinach, then drain and add the lentils. Stir until the spinach has wilted, then, off the heat, ripple through the crème fraîche and season to perfection. Pick the tarragon leaves over the chicken, and serve it all together.

Serg!o / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

These kumquats are preserved in diluted honey, and the warmth of the honey flavor works perfectly with the citrusy but not too sour taste of this fruit. Try them spooned over yogurt or ice cream, or on pancakes. Save the leftover honey-kumquat syrup to use as a glaze for ham and other meats, or on roasted root vegetables or winter squash.