Chicken with fennel is a favorite chicken recipe of mine and one that my husband requests on a regular basis. It’s really easy to prepare, too. In fact, I use this method of cooking everything — beef, pork…you name it! Give it a try, I think you’ll like it!
This chicken with fennel recipe is quick and easy to make. The chopped fennel adds a nice crunchy texture.
Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Fennel and Rosemary
The Mediterranean flavors of fennel, garlic, and rosemary are perfect with chicken. The fennel and chicken are sautéed and then briefly braised in chicken broth, which becomes a tasty light sauce.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Step 1In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the fennel, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is golden brown and almost done, about 12 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the fennel is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the fennel and the cooking liquid from the pan.
- Step 2Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Add the chicken to the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon of rosemary and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until almost done, about 3 minutes longer. Add the garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the fennel and its cooking liquid and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let steam 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
Soft polenta is an appropriate accompaniment to this Italian-style dish. Mashed potatoes are another good match.
The fennel and the rosemary will pair especially nicely with a full-bodied red wine that has a hint of sweetness, such as a Rioja from Spain.
Recipe: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel & Lemon
Ilove one-dish meals, especially ones that involve fennel and lemon. The aromatic anise flavor of fennel and its juicy bite, caramelized around the edges by the heat of the oven — ah, it’s delicious. So you can see how this quick, one-pan dish is really my favorite meal of the past month.
My love of chicken thighs is well-documented. They’re not terribly dark, so even those in your household who prefer white meat shouldn’t turn their noses up at thighs the way they might at drumsticks. And chicken thighs are unfailingly moist and forgiving. You can overcook them just a bit and they’ll still be melting and juicy. They also are cheap. So really, what can go wrong?
Here I roast chicken thighs in a light bath of lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic, with thick wedges of fennel bulb thrown into the mix. They all roast together at high heat, crisping up around the edges and becoming infused with the flavor of garlic and lemon.
And it’s so quick and easy; just cut up the fennel, toss it with the chicken and the other ingredients, roast, and serve. Done!
My fiancé tends to halfheartedly eat fennel, regardless of how it’s prepared — this is the first time he quickly ate it off his plate and went looking for more. The simple method of roasting fennel wedges alongside chicken thighs allows the vegetable to absorb the rich juices from the meat while they caramelize on the sheet pan, making them incredibly addictive.
While this recipe originally called for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, I opted for bone-in, skin-on, as they bring a bigger jolt of flavor and texture to the dish (thank you, crispy chicken skin) and always feel more substantial to me. I also reduced the salt a bit, as I felt the original amount produced a dish that was a tad too salty.
Also, I definitely encourage you to serve this dish with the optional cooked rice or bread (cooked couscous would also be lovely) — there’s some great lemony, garlicky sauce lingering on the sheet pan that deserves to be soaked up.
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel & Lemon
YIELDServes 4Show Nutrition
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (4 to 6)
- 2 small fennel bulbs (1 to 1 1/4 pounds total)
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 1 Meyer or regular lemon
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cooked rice or bread, for serving (optional)
- Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Place the chicken in a large bowl; set aside.
- Trim the stalks and fronds off the fennel bulbs and set aside the fronds. Cut each bulb in quarters through the root. Cut each quarter into 1-inch-thick slices. Add to the bowl with the chicken. Mince about 1 tablespoon of fennel fronds and add to the bowl.
- Mince the garlic and add to the bowl. Finely grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl. Juice the lemon and add the juice to the bowl. Add the oil and white wine, season with the salt and a generous amount of black pepper, and toss to combine.
- Transfer the chicken mixture onto a large baking sheet. Arrange the fennel around the outside and place the chicken pieces closely together in the center. Pour any remaining juices from the bowl over the chicken.
- Roast until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 160°F and the fennel is tender and beginning to brown around the edges, about 30 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving with rice or bread if desired.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Chicken, fennel & tomato ragout
- Preparation and cooking time
- Prep:10 mins
- Cook:25 mins
- Serves 2
This chunky ragout can be teamed with anything you like, couscous, pasta, rice or a nice jacket, or just a nice chunk of bread
- Easily doubled
- Easily halved
- 1 large fennel bulb
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken, cut into chunks
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 200g new potato, cut into chunks
- 400g can of chopped tomato
- 150ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 roasted red peppers in brine, from a jar or deli counter, chopped
- STEP 1Trim the green tops off the fennel and reserve. Halve, then quarter the fennel, cut out the core, then cut lengthways into slices. Heat the oil in a pan, add the chicken, then fry quickly until lightly coloured. Add the fennel and garlic, then stir briefly until the fennel is glistening.
- STEP 2Tip in the potatoes, tomatoes, stock and a little seasoning, and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 mins until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the peppers and heat through. Roughly chop the reserved fennel fronds, then sprinkle over the ragout. Serve with crusty bread for mopping up the juices.