Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. A delicious, slow-cooked comfort food meal with  plenty of familiar, homestyle flavour.

Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Slow cooked Sundays are pretty common around here, especially on days like today when a winter storm rages outside. There’s nothing better than weathering out the storm on a relaxed afternoon while supper slowly cooks away in the oven, practically unattended. A pot roast or pulled pork are two of our family favorites but slow braised chicken is also a delicious choice.

Sweet onions are best for this dish because the higher natural sugar content lets them slowly soften and caramelize along with the aromatic anise-like flavor of the fennel. Chicken legs and thighs actually work best in this very simple recipe because they don’t dry out in the long cooking time but if you are going to use chicken breasts, like in the photo, I recommend starting to braise the onions and fennel first for at least an hour before adding the browned bone-in chicken breasts for the last hour or so.

We often roast garlic to add to our mashed potatoes and on this occasion we also browned the butter that we added to them for an outstandingly delicious version of that side dish classic. Topped with the braised onions and fennel and the tender chicken, it really hits the spot for a cold weather comfort food meal.

Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Braised Onion Fennel Chicken – ready for the oven.

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Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Braised Onion Fennel Chicken

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Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes – a delicious, slow-cooked comfort food meal with plenty of familiar, homestyle flavour.

Course:

Dinner

Author: Barry C. Parsons

Ingredients

  • 2 – 3
    pounds
    of chicken thighs or breasts
    well trimmed of excess fat and skin
  • salt and pepper to season the chicken
  • 2
    tbsp
    olive oil
  • 3
    cloves
    roughly chopped garlic
  • 2
    large white sweet onions
    thinly sliced (Vidalia onions are a good choice)
  • 1/2
    large fennel head
    thinly sliced
  • 1/2
    cup
    white wine
    or chicken stock
  • 4
    springs fresh thyme
    or 1 1/2 tbsp dry thyme
  • 1/4
    tsp
    nutmeg
  • 1/2
    tsp
    black pepper
  • 1/2
    tsp
    salt

For the Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • 1/2
    head garlic
  • 2 1/2
    pounds
    of russet or blue potatoes
  • 1/3 to 1/2
    cup
    butter
    only real butter works here

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  2. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat and brown the chicken thighs or breasts on both sides. Remove the chicken and set aside.

  3. To the skillet add the chopped garlic, onions & fennel.

  4. Cook the onions, fennel and garlic for a few minutes until they begin to soften, then transfer them to a covered dutch oven or medium sized roasting pan.

  5. To the pan add the wine, thyme, nutmeg, pepper and salt.

  6. Toss together well, cover and cook in the oven for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the onions and fennel have broken down completely and start to turn brown and the chicken thighs are fall apart tender.

  7. Serve the chicken with the braised onion and fennel over Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

To prepare the Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  1. Roast the garlic for this recipe in the last hour that the chicken is in the oven.

  2. Cut the half head of unpeeled garlic in half and place on a square of aluminum foil, cut side up. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle on a little olive oil. Bring all sides of the aluminum foil to the center and pinch together to seal. Place in the oven with the chicken for 45-60 minutes until fully softened and cooked.

  3. Peel the potatoes and boil slowly in salted water until fully cooked, about 20-25 minutes.

  4. To a small saucepan add the butter and melt over medium heat and continue to cook until all the water steams off the butter and the leftover milk solids in the butter start to go brown. At this point the butter begins to smell like caramel. Remove it quickly from the heat.

  5. Mash the potatoes together until smooth with the roasted garlic and brown butter as well as a pinch of pepper to season. You can also add a little cream if you like for extra richness.

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Braised Onion Fennel Chicken with Brown Butter and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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