It's my favorite time of year: CITRUS SEASON. Blood, Cara Cara, Satsuma, Pomelo...you name the variety, and I can promise you it will appear on my instagram this month. But, the one variety you'll see most of all? All hail, the KUMQUAT. I am so drawn to this tiny, sour fruit (am I describing myself?) with just a touch of sweetness. Some may find kumquats disgusting, but I honestly can't imagine being friends with such a person. When raw? Sure, a kumquat's sourness is a little aggressive. But COOKED?! Especially when balanced with the right amount of sweetness, kumquats sing in both sweet and savory applications.
For this recipe, I decided to bring in a sweet allium, the shallot, rich coconut sugar, and a touch of heat to create a sweet and sour, savory marmalade. On it's own, the marmalade can taste a bit intense, but mellows out significantly when paired with a rich meat like roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, or even a steak.
30 kumquats, or 20 mandarinquats (mandarinquats are a touch larger)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced shallots, maintaining their circular shape
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut sugar (or 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp dark brown sugar)
1 1/2 tbsp dried red chili flake (preferably espelette, Aleppo, or Marash)
1/2 tbsp fennel seed
1 cup of water
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
olive oil, salt, pepper
Slice kumquats into thin, circular slices, removing seeds as you go and collecting as much juice as possible.
In olive oil over low-medium heat, saute shallots for 5-7 minutes, until shallots are translucent and slightly browned (but not burned, charred, or crispy). Add espelette chili and fennel seeds, toss, and cook for 1 minute. Add kumquats, coconut sugar, and water. Toss and bring to a boil. Bring down to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until all water is gone and a marmalade has formed, about 12-15 minutes.
About as simple as it gets. Preheat the oven to 425. Rub olive oil (about 1/2 tbsp per chicken leg or breast), salt, and pepper into skin. Heat two cast-iron pans (if you use one, you will just remove the breast from the oven earlier than the leg). Get the dry pans sizzling hot on the stove. Place chicken, skin side down. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, undisturbed. Flip, the skin should have a nice brown, if not, cook for another minute.
Flip the chicken so skin is up, and turn off the stove. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top and place in the hot oven. Cook breast for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through. Cook leg for 13-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serve with kumquat-shallot jam. Serves 2 as a main course.