Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives, Lemon and Fennel from Ad Hoc at Home {recipe} – We Ate Olive It

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs
We don’t have to much to share regarding this recipe, like how we came across it, why we decided to make it, what charming/funny/traumatic events unfolded as we made it.

Because all we are thinking about right now is how awesome it would be if whole roast chickens were made up of all thighs.

Yeah, we know.


That’s what happens sometimes when you’ve been in the kitchen for eight straight days.

Oh, and when you make this dish (yes, “when,” not “if,” because how can you not want to eat crispy braised chicken thighs?!), buy about twice as many of those giant green olives. We’re now obsessed.

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives, Lemon and Fennel

from Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller
serves 6


3 large fennel bulbs
12 chicken thighs
kosher salt
canola oil
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
¼ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup Ascolane or other large green olives, such as Cerignola
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 fresh or 2 dried Bay leaves
4 strips lemon zest – removed with vegetable peeler
8 thyme sprigs
1 cup Chicken Stock
about ¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves


Cut off the fennel stalks. Trim the bottom of the bulbs and peel back the layers until you reach the core; reserve the core for another use. Discard any bruised layers, and cut the fennel into 2-by-½-inch batons. You need 3 cups fennel for this recipe; reserve any remaining fennel for another use.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Set a cooling rack on a baking sheet.

Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt. Heat some canola oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan or roasting pan that will hold all the thighs in one layer over medium-high heat. Add the thighs skin-side-down and brown on the skin side, about 4 minutes. Turn the thighs over and cook for about 1 minute to sear meat. Transfer to cooling rack.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion to the pan and cook for 1½ minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the fennel, turn the heat up to medium, and cook, stirring often, until the fennel is crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.

Pour in the wine and simmer for about 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Stir in the olives, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, lemon zest and thyme, then pour in the chicken stock. Increase the heat, bring the liquid to a simmer, and cook until the fennel is tender, about 1 minute.

Taste the stock and season with salt, as needed. Return the chicken to the pan skin-side-up, in a single layer. When the liquid returns to a simmer, transfer to the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Turn on the broiler, and put the pan under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp and brown the chicken skin. Remove from oven, and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with parsley leaves.

by Sarah J. Gim on June 28, 2011 · 2 comments

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Snippets of Thyme June 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I made a similar braised chicken dish on my blog…also with fennel. I love it so I am sure this one would be so delicious. Actually I used all thighs and legs! Wonderful recipe and photo!


Deborah Dowd June 29, 2011 at 9:37 am

I would be all for that, but it would make for some weird-looking chickens. This looks like a great way to use chicken thighs!


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