Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

I bought two gigantic fennel bulbs to make Fennel, Carrot and Tangerine Salad, but only used one of them. Luckily, I had this recipe stored away, perfect for using up the other bulb.

The final dish is very pale, not that attractive, but it packs a lot of flavor. The original recipe on The Kitchn blog called for white wine, but I didn’t have any in the house, so I used dry vermouth instead. I figured the vermouth’s aromatic and herbal character would boost the dish’s flavor. It certainly did.

Dry (or white) vermouth is a good ingredient to have on hand, sometimes it’s just the right addition to a chicken or fish dish. A good quality dry vermouth also makes a nice aperitif when chilled.

healthy chicken fennel lemon onion recipe

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Lemon

You’ll need a large bowl, a baking dish large enough to hold all the ingredients and foil.

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, each cut in half
  • 1 large fennel bulb — trim off the stalks, chop enough fronds to make 1 tablespoon, cut bulb lengthwise in quarters, then lengthwise into 1-inch or so slices
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry vermouth (or white wine)
  • 1 lemon, first zested, then juiced (use a Meyer lemon if you can find one)
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425. Toss all the ingredients together, including the 1 tablespoon of fennel fronds, in a large bowl.

Spread the mixture in the baking dish. Scrape any remaining juices out of the bowl and into the dish.

Roast for 30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 160°F, and the fennel is tender and beginning to brown around the edges. Take the pan out of the oven, and cover with foil. Let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Original recipe: Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel & Lemon, The Kitchn

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