Summer Twilight Chicken

-Toni Sicola, Executive Editor, Health and Wellness Professional

Yesterday, the weather forced me to admit that summer is indeed coming to an end. And what better way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall than with a deliciously warming chicken dish made with end of summer fruit and yummy fall veggies?! (for those of you who missed the post on seasonal produce, here’s a link to a great chart to help you buy seasonal.)

I served this tasty chicken with roasted root veggies and a spinach salad with homemade mustard vinaigrette. Get ready to shock your taste buds in a most delightful way!

Ingredients (serves two, increase as necessary):

  • 2 whole free range chicken legs (thigh and all, skin on)
  • 2 small to medium oranges
  • 2 pears
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or about 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • White wine vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • Taragon
  • Cinnamon


  1. In a bowl large enough that the chicken legs can lay side by side, pour 1 part EVOO to 2 parts white wine vinegar (I’m not much for measuring, but I’d bet it’s about a cup of vinegar, 1/2 cup EVOO)

  1. Squeeze the juice of half of one orange into the bowl (make sure the seeds don’t fall in)
  2. Mix in about a tablespoon of tarragon and about half as much cinnamon
  3. Stir in the garlic and onions until all ingredients are well-mixed
  4. Place the chicken legs into the mixture and massage the marinade into the chicken for about a minute, turning the legs so that both sides get a good bit of coverage. (chicken should almost, but not quite, be submerged in the liquid. Add a bit more vinegar if you need) If the skin is loose enough to get some garlic and tarragon underneath it, go for it!
  5. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes (or overnight if you want to prep for the next day’s dinner — with a marinade like this, you can take your time or do it up quickly)
  6. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
  7. Slice remaining orange into thick slices

  1. Chop pears into cubes (about 1 inch)
  2. Place chicken into a baking dish or pan with at least a 2 inch lip, leaving most of the marinade in the bowl
  3. Bake at 500 for about 10 minutes to crisp up the skin **
  4. Remove from the oven and turn the temp down to 400 degrees
  5. Pour the marinade over the chicken, including all the onions and garlic pieces
  6. Add in the chopped pears and cover the chicken legs with the orange slices, placing the leftovers into the marinade
  7. Using a meat thermometer on the poultry setting (165 degrees), bake until finished (abt 30 minutes)
  8. Allow the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes before serving

**While the chicken is baking/resting, you can prepare the vinaigrette for your salad by combining white wine vinegar,  EVOO, Dijon mustard (or your favorite type), a touch of tarragon, a dash of salt, and a few sprinkles of pepper, whisking with a fork until emulsified.

The salad I made had grape tomatoes, spinach, chopped carrots, celery, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds, but you can mix and match whatever veggies you like!

Enjoy the feast!! And don’t forget to eat those oranges! They’re a GREAT dessert!

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