Braised Chicken with Garlic and Fennel

Updated April 06, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: There's nothing like a hearty chicken dinner at the end of a long day. Braised Chicken with Garlic and Fennel is the perfect thing to make if you're looking for dinner ideas that will please the whole family. Fennel adds a delicious, unique flavor to the finished dish, and the potatoes help make it a full and filling meal. This braised chicken recipe does take some time to make, but the result is well worth it - the combination of tender vegetables and braised chicken make this a meal you won't soon forget.
This recipe is a little more work than I am usually willing to put forth in the kitchen, but my mother will occasionally make this as a special request. Requests for certain dishes are something my mother has grown tolerant of only in her more mature years. A request for any particular recipe during her more feisty middle age ensured that we might never see that meal again—independence to the nth degree! This Braised Chicken with Garlic and Fennel is so good that Mom has, in her very recent past, humored her husband’s and middle daughter’s subtle hints and suggestions that we might find it tasty on a cold winter evening. It’s great as a leftover too! This is perhaps my favorite recipe in this book. I love it!


Cooking MethodBraising



Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free


Taste and TextureGarlicky, Meaty, Savory, Winey


  • 2 large garlic heads
  • 3 fennel bulbs, about 1½ pounds total
  • Two 3- to 3½-pound chickens, each cut into 8 pieces (wings reserved for another use), or 12 pieces bone-in chicken parts
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 2 strips orange zest, each about 2½ inches long and ½ inch wide
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 pound new potatoes, each about 1½ inches in diameter, scrubbed clean, or cut to size if large
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 cups homemade or canned chicken stock


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Remove the papery outer skin from the garlic heads and separate the cloves. Peel the cloves but leave them whole (about 20 cloves).

Chop enough feathery fronds from the fennel to measure 1 tablespoon and reserve for garnish. Trim the fennel stalks (fronds) flush with the bulbs and discard the stalks. Halve the bulbs and remove the cores. Cut the fennel into ½-inch-thick slices.

Skin the chicken or leave the skin on, depending on your preference. Dust the chicken lightly with flour and season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Working in batches, brown the chicken, cooking on each side for 1½ to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. As they brown, lift the chicken parts from the pan with tongs and set aside. Add oil as needed. You will use about 6 tablespoons of oil to brown all the chicken.

Discard the oil. Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the carrots, orange zest, fennel seeds, peeled garlic cloves, and fennel. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently, for about 5 minutes, or until the carrots begin to soften. Add the potatoes and wine, raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring gently and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add about 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.

Add the chicken and stock, cover tightly, and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Stir in the reserved fennel fronds and serve immediately.



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