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Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs

Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs. This deeply flavoured chicken recipe, slow cooks for a couple of hours but takes just minutes to prepare. It’s a perfect family comfort food meal.

Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs on a white platter

Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs.

Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs. One of my very favorite flavor combinations is tomato and fennel. It’s particularly good in this amazing pasta dinner, where it flavors the sauce beautifully..

Fennel and Onion make a delicious base for the sauce

Fennel and Onion make a delicious base for the sauce.

I love the flavor boost that fennel gives to a great tomato sauce. When you slowly braise chicken thighs in that sauce to tender deliciousness, it
just gets even better.

Quick and simple to prepare.

Although this recipe is slow cooked for up to a couple of hours the preparation is quite fast and fuss free.

Browning the thighs before braising deepens the flavour.

Browning the thighs before braising deepens the flavour.

Other than browning the chicken thighs in a skillet, the only other work is chopping the tomatoes, garlic, fennel and onions to be added to the braising pan.

These vegetables then cook to tender during the braising time. Then, with a quick blitz in the food processor,or, as I do, in the pan with an immersion blender, they are transformed into a delicious sauce.

fresh red organic tomatoes on the vine

Vine ripened tomatoes are great for this recipe but you can use the same amount of canned tomatoes out of season.

The chicken stock in the recipe adds extra richness and depth of flavour to the sauce. I always make my own stock but if you are using store bought, make sure that it is low sodium or salt free.

That’s  so that the dish does not get over seasoned as the stock reduces and become salty.

Raw chicken thigh meat. Stock Photo

Trim all of the visible fat from the chicken thighs. removing the skin is optional.

I’ve often been asked about the presence of brown sugar in many of my tomato sauce recipes. It is a tip that I learned from an Italian lady years ago to bring out the flavor of the natural sweetness in the tomatoes. A tablespoon or two per pot is all that’s needed to balance the sauce without making it actually sweet.

We like to serve this over pasta or rice for one delicious slow cooked comfort food dinner.

Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs close up photo

Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs.

Originally published Oct 19 2008.

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Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs on a white platter
Yield: 6 servings

Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs. This deeply flavoured Tomato Fennel Braised Chicken Thighs recipe, slow cooks for a couple of hours but takes just minutes to prepare. It's a perfect family comfort food meal.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (or skin on if you prefer)
  • Salt and pepper to season chicken
  • Flour for dredging chicken
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 6. to 8 large ripe tomatoes, or 3 ½ cups diced canned tomatoes, diced
  • ½ large bulb fennel, or one small bulb, diced small
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large red onion diced
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes, optional
  • 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and then dredge them in plain flour.
  3. Brown the chicken thighs on both sides.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, making sure to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. In a covered roasting pan toss together the remaining ingredients except for the chicken stock.
  6. Add the browned chicken thighs on top of the vegetables and pour the chicken stock over everything.
  7. Cover and roast at 300 degrees F for about 1½ to 2 hours or until most of the liquid has cooked off and the chicken is tender and falling apart.
  8. To serve, you can either spoon the vegetables over rice or pasta or, if you prefer, process them slightly in a foods processor or, in the pan with an immersion blender, to make a sauce as is shown in the photo.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1 serving

Amount Per Serving Calories 528Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 277mgSodium 796mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 3gSugar 8gProtein 58g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Fiona

Sunday 29th of August 2021

The photo looks as tho there is parmesan on finished dish. Yes or no?

Brenda

Monday 8th of March 2021

Barry, I would love to cook this but I find fennel bulbs are hare to find here! Would I be able to use fennel seeds and how much do you think?

Tristan

Sunday 14th of February 2016

In the middle of cooking this....how does one cook off liquid in a covered pan? Will it just incorporate into the vegetables as they soften and cook?

Barry C. Parsons

Monday 15th of February 2016

It should reduce to a proper sauce consistency. You can take off the cover at the end for a while. That shouldn't be an issue.

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