I love dishes that start with a combination I’ve never tried before! And this one certainly did – with onions, fennel, cinnamon and chicken all making early appearances. The original recipe describes this as southern Italian style chicken, but to me it tasted almost more mediterranean. Jamie Oliver also suggests a few ingredients like preserved lemon, olives and saffron, which I left out as I’m not so keen on, but perhaps including them would have made for a more Italian taste. Leaving them out makes for less prep and a delicious meal I can’t wait to have again!
To make 4 portions you need:
- 3 red onions
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 tsp chilli flakes or equivalent of dried or fresh chillies
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 4 chicken thighs
- 4 chicken drumsticks
- 1 tin tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tomatoes
- whatever you want to serve on the side – could be couscous, pasta or spaghetti, or just a bit of bread!
What to do:
- Peel and finely slice the onions and fennel.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan and add the onion and fennel, along with the chilli, fennel seeds and cinnamon and cook on slowly for about 15 minutes, or until soft and sticky.
- While they’re cooking, in a separate pan brown the chicken pieces with a little oil. When they’re golden on all sides, add them to the veg pan.
- Add in the tinned tomatoes, refill the empty tomato tin with water and add this in as well, mixing everything gently together.
- Add in the bay, and some chopped fresh tomatoes if you have them to hand. Season and then leave to bubble away for 25 to 30 minutes, until the chicken starts to fall of the bone and the sauce has thickened and reduced.
- Prepare your side accompaniment as needed and serve with a sprinkling of fresh coriander.