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Mediterranean Chicken with fennel, citrus and olives

Mediterranean Chicken with fennel, citrus and olives
Cooking Time:
Imperial (US)
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone in with skin
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsps ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground New Mexico chile (or other medium hot chile)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 1 onion, peeled, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1/2 bulb fresh fennel, sliced thin
  • 1 orange or 2 lemons
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 20 pitted olives - green or black
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup minced Italian parsley

Toss the chicken thighs in a bowl with the olive oil and first 6 spices. Set aside.


In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium high heat. Brown the chicken skin side down until skin is crispy. Flip to other side and brown slightly. Remove the chicken to a plate.

Turn down the heat under the pan to low and add the onions and fennel. Sauté the vegetables until soft, stirring often, about 15 minutes.

Cut the orange or lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the pan. Cut the citrus into pieces and add to the pan along with the bay leaves, salt, olives and chicken stock. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up and nestled into the vegetables. Cover and cook over low heat for about 45 minutes. Chicken should easily pull away from the bone.


Turn off the heat under the skillet. Remove the citrus pieces.

Ladle all the stock into a fat separator pitcher or regular measuring cup (try not to include any solids).

Allow the stock to sit until the fat rises to the top, then carefully pour the stock back into the pan leaving the fat behind. At this point the chicken can sit and be reheated later or served right away.


Just before serving, sprinkle the parsley on top. Serve with basmati rice or couscous.


Recipe by Jane O'Riordan


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