Chicken with Saffron, Fennel and Orange

, from Issue #53. May, 2016
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Chicken with Saffron, Fennel and Orange

This dish is fragrant with the flavours of the Mediterranean. Celery or a second onion can be used in place of the fennel and you can leave out the saffron if unavailable – the chicken will still be delicious.

Serves: 4


6 chicken thigh cutlets, bone in, skin-on
4 chicken drumsticks, skin-on
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, top trimmed and cut into wedges
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
8 whole cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup white wine
pinch saffron threads
½ cup chicken stock
zest and juice 1 orange
1 x 400-gram tin crushed tomatoes
1 x 400-gram tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
small handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Season the chicken and brown on all sides.

Transfer to a plate.

Add the fennel, onion, bay and garlic to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients, season well and bring to the boil.

Nestle in the chicken and pour over any resting juices. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

If the juices are thin remove the lid and simmer until reduced. Stir in the parsley to serve.