Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. A delicious, slow-cooked comfort food meal with plenty of familiar, homestyle flavour.
Slow cooked Sundays are pretty common around here, especially on days like today when a winter storm rages outside. There’s nothing better than weathering out the storm on a relaxed afternoon while supper slowly cooks away in the oven, practically unattended.
A pot roast or pulled pork are two of our family favourites but slow braised chicken is also a delicious choice.
Sweet onions are best for this dish because the higher natural sugar content. Naturally, this lets them slowly soften and caramelize along with the aromatic anise-like flavour of the fennel.
Choosing the chicken for this Braised Onion Fennel Chicken recipe.
Chicken legs and thighs actually work best in this very simple recipe. That’s because they don’t dry out in the long cooking time.
But, if you are going to use chicken breasts, like in the photo, I recommend starting to braise the onions and fennel first for at least an hour before adding the browned bone-in chicken breasts for the last hour or so.
Some people have told me that they prefer boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. That’s to cut down on the fat content of the recipe. I think that’s just fine if you choose to do it.
NOTE: I like to debone my own chicken breasts or thighs so that I can roast the bones and skins for stock later. I freeze them until I have enough to cover a baking sheet then use the instructions in my post on making Chicken Stock here.
We often roast garlic to add to our mashed potatoes. However, on this occasion, we also browned the butter that we added to them for an outstandingly delicious version of that side dish classic.
Topped with the braised onions and fennel and the tender chicken, it really hits the spot for a cold weather comfort food meal.
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Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.</div First published February 2014. Updated October 2019 to add a new printable recipe page and add nutritional information.
Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes - a delicious, slow-cooked comfort food meal with plenty of familiar, homestyle flavour.
- 3 pounds of chicken thighs or breasts, well trimmed of excess fat and skin
- salt and pepper to season the chicken
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves roughly chopped garlic
- 2 large white sweet onions, thinly sliced (Vidalia onions are a good choice)
- 1/2 large fennel head, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup white wine, or chicken stock
- 4 springs fresh thyme, or 1 1/2 tbsp dry thyme
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 1/2 head garlic
- 2 1/2 pounds of russet or blue potatoes
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup butter, only real butter works here
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat and brown the chicken thighs or breasts on both sides. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- To the skillet add the chopped garlic, onions & fennel.
- Cook the onions, fennel and garlic for a few minutes until they begin to soften, then transfer them to a covered dutch oven or medium sized roasting pan.
- To the pan add the wine, thyme, nutmeg, pepper and salt.
- Toss together well, cover and cook in the oven for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the onions and fennel have broken down completely and start to turn brown and the chicken thighs are fall apart tender.
- Serve the chicken with the braised onion and fennel over Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
To prepare the Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Roast the garlic for this recipe in the last hour that the chicken is in the oven.
- Cut the half head of unpeeled garlic in half and place on a square of aluminum foil, cut side up. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle on a little olive oil. Bring all sides of the aluminum foil to the center and pinch together to seal. Place in the oven with the chicken for 45-60 minutes until fully softened and cooked.
- Peel the potatoes and boil slowly in salted water until fully cooked, about 20-25 minutes.
- To a small saucepan add the butter and melt over medium heat and continue to cook until all the water steams off the butter and the leftover milk solids in the butter start to go brown. At this point the butter begins to smell like caramel. Remove it quickly from the heat.
- Mash the potatoes together until smooth with the roasted garlic and brown butter as well as a pinch of pepper to season. You can also add a little cream if you like for extra richness.
Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.
Serving Size6 Servings
Amount Per Serving Calories 575Saturated Fat 9gCholesterol 172mgSodium 559mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 53g