Blood Orange Bourbon Chicken {A Recipe}

I talked yesterday about my reflections and goals for the new year, and with that, I’ve been thinking a lot about my little Freckled Fork blog.

I think when I first introduced the FF blog last year, I wanted to create a space where I could explore all areas of food…cooking food, eating food, sharing food experiences, and writing about food. I think I’ll continue on that path for 2019 and see what the year brings…hopefully some clarity and focus:)

In reflection, I realized that when I looked at my own blog-reading habits, I personally do not read blogs anymore. If I’m searching for a recipe, I definitely “skip to recipe” or scroll past all the writing to the goods at the bottom of the post. (I KNOW.)

All that to say, I think for 2019, when I share a recipe, I’ll try my darndest to make it short & sweet, giving you the recipe “above the fold” if you will<3 Here we go:

Blood Orange Bourbon Chicken

Alternative Name: Old Fashioned Chicken 🙂
Inspired by and adapted from one of my favorite chefs, Yotam Ottolenghi. Using ingredients I had on hand, subbing a few for a different twist (an ode to one of my favorite go-to cocktails), here’s my take on his Roasted Chicken w/Clementines & Arak. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Keyword: blood oranges, bourbon chicken, Chicken
Servings: 4
Author: jess masanotti


  • 1/2 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Small Meyer Lemon, Juiced
  • 2 Small Blood Orange, 1 Juiced + 1 sliced into rings (w/rind)
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme, leaves pinched off
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard or Grainy Mustard
  • 2 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • S & P
  • 1 Medium Fennel Bulb, trimmed + halved + cut into medium slices
  • 1 lb. Boneless Chicken Thighs (skin on is best, but skinless works too!)
  • 3-4 Sprigs Fresh Parsley, leaves pinched off + loosely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
  • Basmati Rice


  • Marinade // In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, Angostura Bitters, lemon juice, orange juice, thyme, mustard and brown sugar. Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt & pepper. Add in fennel slices and blood orange slices to the chicken and pour marinade over top of the chicken, fennel, orange slices. Cover and shake to combine. 
    NOTE: If you have time, let the chicken rest in the marinade for 1+ hours before cooking. If not, totally fine, I’ve made this both ways and it’s good even if you let it marinate for the 10-15 minutes while you preheat the oven.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
  • Transfer the chicken mixture to a large roasting pan. If using skin-on chicken, make sure the skin is facing up. Arrange fennel & orange slices around and on top of chicken.
  • Roast for 35 minutes, until chicken is browned and cooked through. Using a meat thermometer, chicken should read around 165 degrees before you remove it. 
  • Once cooked through, spoon out chicken, fennel and orange slices on a serving tray and cover to keep warm. Pour the remaining liquid into a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir in Bourbon (or Rye Whiskey). Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Feel free to spoon out any residual fat that rests on the top of the liquid.
  • Pour blood orange/Bourbon liquid over the chicken, top with parsley. Serve over Basmati Rice or Cauliflower Rice if GF.

Sorry, one more note of interest.

Did you know that only 5 people in the world know the full recipe for THE Angostura Bitters? To this day, The House of Angostura bottles up bitters using the same recipe Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert (a medic in the Prussian army) came up with in Angostura, Venezuela back in 1824.

Rumor has it that the actual recipe uses over 40 ingredients. These 5 people made a pact to never fly on a plane together, or to even eat in the same restaurant. No joke. Everything is secretly gathered, mixed and bottled in their headquarters in Trinidad and Tobago.

Another fun note is that Siegert originally concocted the mixture to help digestive issues and it was also known to ward off mosquitos when rubbed on the skin. The more you know. <3

Let me know if you get around to trying the recipe and how it turns out!

Ring Around the Cranberries {Recipe}


I am a terrible baker.

Seriously, if it involves flour, sugar, sweets and an oven, I am screwed. There’s something about the precision of it all, I’m a mess and it usually turns out to be incredibly inedible.

But I WANT to bake.

I find myself WANTING that discipline and structure necessary for baking {side note: and probably for life in general as well…probably}.

It snowed a half inch last night and the City of Charlotte SHUT DOWN, per usual. The threat of fluffy white stuff causes the people of the QC to lose. their. damn. minds. closing and cancelling everything. Welcome to the South…#blessed.

Snow makes me want to bake, so here you go. My half(ish) attempt at baking and it turned out pretty tasty and with beautiful colors, too, so I’m documenting it!



Ring Around the Cranberries

A savory, sweet tart that’s perfect for breakfast or even a late night dessert.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: apple, cranberry, crescent rolls, goat cheese, holiday appetizer, holiday breakfast, holiday desserts
Servings: 4
Author: jess masanotti


  • 1 Crescent Roll Package 8 Triangles
  • 1.5 Cup Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 Medium Apple, cored & chopped I LOVE Honey Crisp
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Honey Chèvre I love the Trader Joes version!
  • (Optional) Whipped Cream
  • 1 Egg for Egg Wash Whisk egg and cold water together to brush on roll.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Fill a small saucepan with cranberries. Add enough water to cover the berries and cook on high heat. Bring berries to a rolling boil, cook for 8 minutes.
  • On a sheet pan, arrange crescent roll triangles in a circle with the wide part in the middle, like a star.
  • Add diced apples and cinnamon to cranberry mix. Stir and reduce heat to medium and cook another 2 minutes.
  • Spoon cran-apple mix on the crescent rolls. Drizzle with honey and crumbled goat cheese.
  • Fold over crescent triangle points to the middle, enveloping the cran-apple mix.
  • Brush with egg wash and place in oven. Bake for 12-14 minutes
  • Remove and drizzle with remaining honey. Serve with whipped cream<3

You’re what the French call “les soupe à l’oignon”

Totally channeling Home Alone there…

Sorry, we are MORE than a few weeks out from Christmas and yes, I’ve already started watching holiday movies (don’t @ me), so Home Alone may or may not be on repeat.

You know what else has been on repeat?! This CRAZY COLD rain. I’ve been glued to my computer watching these horrific fires engulf whole communities in California, and ironically on the East Coast, we are on day 4 of being flooded with rain.

Just go westward, my friend. They NEED you. 🙁

We are starting to get a little case of cabin fever (#pressed), and my favorite remedy for being stuck indoors is to get my butt in the kitchen and start playing (or binge watch old episodes of Gossip Girl and 90210). I love trying to figure out recipes and this rainy weather had me craving a hearty soup, so French Onion Soup was next on my list to try to make.

Onion soup has been the traditional French hangover cure forever. French onion soup is the equivalent to a 2am McDonald’s run for those crack fries. Onion soups certainly didn’t begin with the French, but like most things culinary, the French surely perfected it.

I’m totally hungover on this dang rain, so French Onion soup was a MUST. My favorite part might be the gratinée…the broiled cheese/bread on top <3

There are so many recipes for French Onion soup but a few things are key:

  • It’s important to allow the onions time to cook down, absorbing all the delicious butter they can until they are perfectly soft. In my recipe below I have 10+ minutes, but they are REALLY special if you have time to let them slowly cook down for 30minutes or more.
  • Take special care to really flavor the broth. Salt is hugely important and I also like to add some aromatics — garlic, onions, herbs — to help!
  • The vino is essential IMO! I’ve used red wine, white wine, dry sherry, etc., and whichever you decide to use, don’t skip it. The nuances in flavor are not to be missed.

Enjoy! <3

All the {French} Onion Soup

The mix of alliums is so delightful paired with the rich beef broth and creaminess of the swiss/gruyere mix of cheese. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: french onion soup, shallot french onion soup
Servings: 4
Author: jess masanotti


  • 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion Thinly Sliced in Rounds
  • 1 Leek Stalk Thinly Sliced in Rounds
  • 3 Shallots Thinly Sliced in Rounds
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Peeled & Smashed
  • 3-4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp Red Wine (or sub Dry Sherry)
  • 1 Quart Beef Broth or Stock
  • 3-4 Leaves Fresh Sage
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Crusty Bread (baguette, french bread, sourdough, etc.)
  • Trader Joe's Swiss Gruyere Blend
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper


  • Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add in onions, leeks and shallots (separating the rings as your stir). Cook down until softened, 10-15 minutes. Stir often until alliums have a deep golden hue. Add in pulled thyme leaves, pinch of salt and continue to cook 2 minutes. 
  • In a dutch oven or soup pot, heat beef broth over medium-low with smashed garlic. Add in herbs to broth. (Pro tip: Tie the thyme springs, bay leaf & sage leaves together in a bouquet, to aid with removal later!) Add a large pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
  • Add in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to onion mixture, reduce heat to medium. Stir in wine, cook for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Add onion mixture to broth, scraping the pan of all that goodness. Increase the heat to medium-high, simmering for 10 minutes. Remove bouquet of herbs.
  • Preheat broiler on high.
  • Separately, toast bread slices until crispy (not burnt) in a toaster/toaster oven. Ladle soup mixture into oven-safe bowls, and top with toasted bread, followed by shredded cheese (I like to throw a few more thyme leaves on top of the cheese!).
  • Place all bowls on a baking sheet (easy to maneuver in/out of the oven) and into the oven for 3-5 minutes until bubbly, golden brown. Remove and serve!