Pic of Chicken with fennel

Chicken with fennel

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Meat mains

Chicken with fennel

Main Serves 4 1h 5 min
This fragrant chicken and fennel casserole is a great summer lunch or dinner. Eat with green or runner beans, new potatoes and some good quality bread to mop up the juices. For this recipe, you will need a large casserole dish that can go on the hob and a pestle and mortar or spice grinder.


  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • olive oil
  • 1 chicken, jointed into 8, or 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 onions, red or white, finely sliced
  • 2 pinches of chilli flakes
  • 1 generous pinch saffron
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs
  • 2 glasses white wine
  • 2 tins of tomatoes and a few fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 1 orange or lemon, zested
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • parsley (optional)
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 1h
  • Step 1

    First, dry fry the fennel seeds and coriander for about 1 minute until fragrant and grind together.
  • Step 2

    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the casserole dish and season the chicken. Brown the chicken in 2 batches until golden all over and set aside
  • Step 3

    Then add the onions and fry gently for 5-10 minutes until they start to go translucent. Add the chilli flakes, ground spices, saffron and garlic.
  • Step 4

    Trim off any tough outer leaves on the fennel. Cut each bulb in half through the base and into 6-8 wedges. Add to the onion mixture, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the wine. Bring to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Step 5

    Add the tomatoes and stir in the chicken, zest, bay and thyme. Cover and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer.
  • Step 6

    Cook for about 45 minutes – the chicken should be completely cooked and beginning to come away from the bone. Serve with a little olive oil and perhaps some finely chopped parsley.

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