Meet your new Sunday supper--a dish that's great on the weekend, when you have more time for the pleasures of slow cooking. Serve on crusty toast slabs or a bed of pasta. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper if you'd like a little kick.
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups shaved fennel (about 2 bulbs)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes, drained
12 garlic cloves, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slice
3 lemons, sectioned
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 (1-ounce) slice whole-wheat bread
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 325°.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter. Pour into a 13 x 9inch glass or ceramic baking dish; tilt to coat bottom of dish. Top with fennel.
Rub salt into chicken; arrange chicken over fennel. Hand-crush tomatoes; tuck between thighs. Scatter garlic and lemon over chicken; sprinkle with thyme.
Cut 1 tablespoon butter into pieces; scatter over dish. Cover; bake at 325° for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 180°.
Uncover; bake 45 minutes, basting every 5 to 10 minutes.
Combine bread and cheese in a food processor; pulse for coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over chicken; drizzle with basting juices. Bake 10 minutes. Top with parsley.
Tomatillo and Chayote Chicken: Sub onion for fennel, 3 cups diced chayote for tomatoes, and 3 chopped tomatillos for lemons. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano in place of thyme, increase salt to 3/4 teaspoon, and add 2 sliced serrano chiles with veggies. Rather than bread and Parm, use 3 tablespoons Cotija cheese. Top with cilantro instead of parsley; serve with lime wedges. Serves 6 (serving size: 4 ounces meat and about 2/3 cup vegetables) CALORIES 270; FAT 4g (sat 7g); SODIUM 467mg
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Very impressed with the finished dish, esp considering how simple the ingredient list is! Thank you to MeganS1 for idea of just slicing the lemons; by the time they've cooked for nearly 2 hrs, the rinds were not even noticeable. Perfect place for preserved lemons next time, I would think. I did up the oven temp to 425 for last 10 min of cooking, to be sure the breadcrumbs were really browned. Served with loaf of crust bread. Will have to try the other version with chayotes and tomatillios in the near future. Pretty sure this would work in a slow cooker but you would have to find some other way to do the breadcrumbs.
This was better than I thought it would be. I think the idea of slicing the lemons is a good one since it took forever to section them. It had good flavour. I used onion in place of the fennel since I am not a fan of fennel. I cooked it for 1hour covered and then took it out and put it in the refrigerator for another day. I took it out put it in the over at 325 covered for about 15 min and then uncovered it and cooked it the rest of the way. I served it over spaghetti.
This recipe was good, but not outstanding. The chicken was incredibly tender and rich after slow cooking. My garlic turned blue (possibly from being immature and/or exposure to acid [lemon juice]). The bites of lemon from the sectioned lemons became very overly intense after slow cooking, and were not very pleasant. Also, I think I used too much fennel, as the ratio of fennel to chicken was too high. I enjoyed dipping crusty bread in the broth.
Great, easy, fresh-tasting recipe! Love the fennel, tomato & lemon combination. I sliced the lemons with rind on, instead of sectioning them to save some time. Also, just crushed whole garlic cloves for the same reason. The parmesan and breadcrumbs help thicken/soak up the liquid in the pan. I added a little more salt & parmesan before eating. Will make this again!
So so good. The fennel in this dish becomes so buttery! I served this over toasted bread and it was fantastic. For step-by-step photos and instructions, visit: http://www.icancookthat.org/2014/10/slow-baked-chicken-thighs-with-tomato-fennel-and-lemon.html
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