Chicken + Fennel Tray Bake
The perfect dish for entertaining or a mid week family meal. Don’t feel intimidated by the fennel. Its so easy to cook and the flavour is divine when baked, especially with chicken.
40grams of butter
1 onion finely diced
2 garlic crushed or diced
1 fennel bulb, tough outer peeled, 1 cm slices
3 Tablespoons of plain flour
1kg Chicken chops (bone in or 900gms thigh)
375 mls stock
1 truss of cherry tomatoes
Slice the fennel evenly. Tops removed and outer skin peeled off. Keep the fine green leaves from the top for a garnish later on. Arrange fennel in a ceramic baking dish.
Coat the chicken in 2 Tablespoons of flour. I pop it all in a small plastic bag along with ground pepper and shake it about. Heat half of the butter and fry off the chicken until golden on both sides. Remove from pan and arrange in the tray with the fennel.
Heat the remaining butter and sauté the onion with 1/4t salt ( salt releases the juices). Add the garlic and sprinkle over the remaining tablespoon of flour. Gently heat the stock ( it is fine to do this in the microwave) and pour over along with the mustard. Cover with a lid or foil.
Pour this mixture over the chicken + fennel and bake at 175 (with fan) for 50 minutes, pulling it out at the halfway point to spoon some of the juices over the top of the dish. At this point keep the lid off and pop the tomatoes on top for the last 25 minutes of cooking.
Serve with a green salad, roasted veggies or mash. French beans in lemony butter also work beautifully and bread is a must to soak up the juices.
The dish can be prepped up to the point of going in the oven and put in the fridge until you need to cook it.