Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken

adapted from NYT Cooking

Yield:  4 servings

1 lemon, plus 3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 1/2 tsp kosher salt, more for the pot

3 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 Tbsp whole grain mustard

3 Tbsp honey

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Black pepper, to taste

3 chicken breasts

2 cups sliced carrots, (about 1/4-in thick)

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

2/3 cup sliced dates

1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves


1/4 cup cilantro

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped toasted pistachio nuts

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Quarter the lemon lengthwise.  Cut into small wedges and remove any seeds.  Blanch the wedges for two minutes in a small saucepan of salted boiling water and drain.

Whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice, oil, mustard, honey salt, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste, in a small saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Let cool.

Put the chicken in a bowl and add the cooled honey mixture.  Add the carrots, onion, dates, thyme and blanched lemon wedges.  Turn the mixture to coat the ingredients.  Marinate overnight in the refrigerator or a minimum of 30 minutes at room temperature.

Place all ingredients in a rimmed sheet pan.   If you did not remove the skin from the chicken, it should be placed on the sheet pan skin side up.   Roast the chicken breasts for 20 to 30 minutes, the chicken should be browned and cooked through.  Remove the chicken as it is done.  Stir the carrot mixture and continue cooking until the carrots are tender, about 7-10 additional minutes.  If the pan appears dry, add 2-3 Tablespoons of water.  

Spoon the carrot mixture over the chicken and garnish with cilantro, chopped scallions and the pistachios.