Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower 
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 5 Mins
Serves 6 (serving size: 4 ounces chicken and about 1/2 cup vegetables)

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.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325°.

Step 2

Melt 1 tablespoon butter. Pour into a 13 x 9–inch glass or ceramic baking dish; tilt to coat bottom of dish. Top with fennel.

Step 3

Rub salt into chicken; arrange chicken over fennel. Hand-crush tomatoes; tuck between thighs. Scatter garlic and lemon over chicken; sprinkle with thyme.

Step 4

Cut 1 tablespoon butter into pieces; scatter over dish. Cover; bake at 325° for 1 hour or until a thermometer registers 180°.

Step 5

Uncover; bake 45 minutes, basting every 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 6

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.

Step 7


Step 8

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

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

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Ratings & Reviews


May 27, 2018
I sort of messed up right off the bat and thawed bone-in thighs by mistake.  In the end it didn't matter, the meat was tender and fell right off the bone.  I took another reviewer's advice and used sliced onion in place of the fennel because we aren't huge fans of that.  I did toss in some fennel seeds with the thyme to keep true to the spirit of the dish.  I also just used thin slices of lemon and then pulled them off just before service.  Worked great.  I served this with roasted garlic couscous which was perfect for soaking up all that good broth.  Definitely a weekend type dish and one that I will make again.


October 02, 2018
my favourite! this is now one of my favourite recipes! the ingredients together created a superb, special taste!! love it!

GrandmaKY's Review

September 30, 2014
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.

meganhalv's Review

September 21, 2014
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.

MeganS1's Review

September 17, 2014
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!

NAJudge's Review

January 04, 2015

Beckyw66's Review

January 19, 2015
Delicious, but I will cut back on the lemons next time. I put a few tsp. size dollops of ricotta on top for the last five min. of cooking time. Served over papparadel .

liafinney's Review

October 09, 2014
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.

Worth the Effort

June 03, 2015
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: