Rainy weather ahead in Southern California and what better day than to roast a chicken. Roast Chicken and Braised Fennel is all done in one pan and requires little effort for a delicious comfort food meal.
If you own an iron skillet — it’s the perfect vehicle to roast a whole chicken. The vessel can host a full bird and allows the juices to render into raw fennel, which sweetens as it cooks. For those that aren’t sure about fennel, it has a completely different taste when it has been braised in a bit of butter under a chicken. It’s sweet onion-like taste becomes the actual sauce after the tender meat is carved and spooned over top.
I love the simplicity of this meal — it only has a handful of ingredients, and it satisfies those cold weather cravings. I quartered new potatoes on a separate sheet pan and placed them in the oven halfway through cooking the chicken for a simple side dish. Season the potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper before roasting.
3 1/2 pound whole chicken
1 large whole fennel bulb with fronds
3 tablespoons butter, divided and softened
1 lemon, sliced in half
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice fennel in half and remove core. Slice each half into 1/4 inch slices.
- Add fennel and 1 tablespoon butter to an iron skillet or large oven-proof pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place on top of fennel. Put lemon halves inside chicken cavity.
- Rub 1 tablespoon butter over top of entire chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck wings under chicken and tie legs together with fennel frond or kitchen twine.
- Roast in oven for 15 minutes, turn heat to 350 degrees and continue to roast for 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place chicken on top of cutting board to rest.
- While chicken is resting, place skillet on top of stove over medium heat. Add remaining tablespoon of butter to fennel and stir until melted and broth is reduced slightly, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Slice chicken and place on plates (see video). Spoon fennel over top and serve. Enjoy!