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Chicken with fennel recipe image

Print Chicken with fennel

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 & a few fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 1 orange or lemon, zested
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • Parsley (optional)
  • Salt & pepper


  1. First, dry fry the fennel seeds and coriander for about 1 minute until fragrant and grind together.
  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
  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.
  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.
  5. Add the tomatoes and stir in the chicken, zest, bay and thyme. Cover and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer.
  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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