I have been lucky to meet many of my food idols, so I usually don’t get starstruck, but I made an exception for Nigella Lawson. Out of nowhere, she reposted a picture from my book on Instagram and I nearly had a heart attack. When I had a chance to meet her a month later, I was in awe. The woman is gorgeous and gracious, and her voice is even sexier in person. I handed her the first copy of my Anti-Inflammation Cookbook, which was hot off the press. That night, she posted again on Instagram, saying she couldn’t wait to “tuck in and give it a read.” That’s when I died and went straight to heaven. In truth, I chose to cook my way through her latest book instead. I fell in love with her version of a sheet-pan chicken—the easiest way to make an entire meal at once! Here I’ve put my spin on it, adding my favorite Asian ingredients. I chose fennel this time, but feel free to use bok choy, green beans, or any other veggie you’d like smothered in this sauce.
Sticky Orange Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Fennel
- ½ cup toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp grated orange zest plus 1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
- 6 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves garlic cloves
- 3 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 large yellow onions thinly sliced
- 2 fennel bulbs cored and thinly sliced, plus fennel fronds for garnish
- In a large bowl, whisk the sesame oil, orange zest and juice, tamari, lime juice, ginger, and garlic to combine. Add the chicken, onions, and fennel. Toss to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F [200°C]. Transfer the chicken, onions, and fennel from the marinade onto a baking sheet. Arrange the chicken skin-side up on top of the onions and fennel, distributing it all evenly. Pour 1/2 cup [120 ml] of the marinade over the chicken (discard the remainder). Roast, turning the pan once halfway through roasting, until the skin is browned and crisp and the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165°F [75°C], 40 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle with minced fennel fronds and serve immediately.