Grilled Fennel Chicken


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Week in the Kitchen

By Karen Dudley

Published 2012

  • About

Remembering my London days of chef’s whites and clogs, I have an image of poussin lined up in baking trays being basted by the simple trinity of soya sauce, lemon and honey. The fennel is so fantastically gloopy and fragrant. You could add fennel seed or a bit of Pernod Liqueur if you were feeling particularly gourmet!


  • 8 chicken breasts, deboned, skin on
  • salt and white pepper
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • 2 red peppers, cut into 2 cm dice
  • 2 yellow peppers, cut into 2 cm dice
  • 4 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced (the cross-section “flower” is so beautiful)
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced
  • handful of fennel fronds
  • 2 cups soya sauce
  • cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • cup honey


    Place the chicken breasts in a roasting tin or ovenproof dish. Pour ¾ cup of olive oil over the breasts to coat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and put aside.

    Toss the cut peppers with ½ cup mix of olive and sunflower oil. Arrange the peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Blast roast the peppers in a hot oven (220°C) for 20–30 minutes until cooked and slightly blackened on the edges. Set these aside for garnish. Turn the oven down to 180°C.

    Place the fennel slices and garlic cloves in a deep pan with 1 cup of water and let them steam, covered, over medium heat until softened and the water has evaporated. Remove the lid of the pan. Still over medium heat, add a few glugs of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and allow the fennel and garlic to cook gently until fragrant and softened. Pour the fennel and garlic confit over the chicken with all the juices from the pan.

    Arrange the fennel around the edges of the chicken dish so that the chicken breasts are exposed. Pour the soya sauce and lemon juice over the chicken and drizzle the honey over the breasts.

    Bake, uncovered, at 180°C for 20 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and baste the breasts with the sauce. Grill for a further 10 minutes.

    Arrange the breasts on a platter with the fennel, garlic and peppers all around, and scatter with the roasted peppers and some fennel fronds. Serve with some plain basmati or jasmine rice on the side and lots of watercress.

    This recipe is very impressive with a whole organic chicken.