Chicken with Tomato, Orange, and Fennel

I worked in a Michelin starred restaurant right after cooking school. Well it was technically called a "stage" and I didn't get paid, so I am not sure if you can call it work, but it sure seemed like work! After that experience I gained a whole new appreciation for those that  cook in restaurants. It is hard work! 

So I staged at this restaurant for two months and on my second to last day, my chef came to me and said as a thank you for all of your hard work, you now get to make staff meal for us tomorrow before you leave. (I thought to myself WTF!?! Shouldn't they be making me staff meal since I just worked for free for 2 months?!) 

I came in early on my last day of work to make staff meal. I made this chicken with tomato, orange and fennel (along with homemade focaccia. ) recipe.  It is, and will always be one of my favoitre recipes. Not only because it tastes good but because of the history behind it - the best kind of recipe.  (Oh and I think they all liked it but after I made staff meal along with my 10 hour normal work day, I was so exhausted that I left - dropped the mic - and never went back. )


Chicken with Tomato, Orange, and Fennel 

  • 1 whole chicken, about 3 - 4lbs, cut up into 8 pieces
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (from a can is great) 
  • juice and zest of 1 large orange

Pre-heat oven to 375°F. 

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. 

In a large 9" or 11"  oven safe skillet, warm olive oil over medium high heat. Brown the chicken skin side down. Remove chicken and set aside. 

Gently pour out the excess fat in the skillet. In the same pan add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until translucent. Add the garlic and fennel seed and cook for another 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth. Add the diced tomatoes, orange zest and juice and stir well. Gently place the chicken back into the pan skin side up and bake chicken for about 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165°F and the skin is golden and crispy. 

Let chicken rest for 10 minutes, taste for salt and pepper then serve. 

Serves 4 to 6 people