Roasted Chicken with Fennel and Olives

Roasted chicken with fennel and olives and lots of other yummy ingredients!  A healthy and beautiful meal, to serve on any day of the week or for special gatherings.  Perfect for the holiday season and easy to make!  My dad always used to make spatchcock on the grill, and many people probably do.  Since I had never tried cooking chicken this way, I decided to try it after a friend suggested it.  It’s actually a great way to roast a whole chicken in less time.

I loved the color of the sauce, and the flavor was exceptionally savory.  I used a spatchcock chicken plus I added two additional chicken breasts since I usually feed about 4-6 people and love having this as left overs.  You can use any cut of chicken you desire, but for roasting chicken, it’s best to buy bone in and leave the skin on.  Believe it or not, the bones and skin give it flavor and help it to not dry out.  You can always remove the skin before you eat it.  The left overs are great; I use roasted chicken left overs for sandwiches, a quick chicken salad, add it to pasta during the week, or even add it to a lunch salad!  So versatile, healthy and tasty!  Looks kinda funny sitting there with his little wings bent, but it’s amazing!

serves 4-6


  • 1 spatchcock chicken or 4-6 pieces of breast or thigh or any combination you cuts you prefer, bone in and skin on
  • 1 large onion. sliced thin
  • 1 large fennel bulb, sliced thin from top to bottom
  • 8 large garlic cloves, minced.  If using small cloves double the amount
  • 3 tangerines or 1 large orange, ends removed, peel on, and cut in 6 quarters
  • 1 large lemon or 2 small ones, ends removed, peel on, and cut in 6 quarters
  • 2/4 cups olives, pitted would be preferable.  I bought nice medley seasoned olives
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp paprika plus a sprinkle for season chicken
  • A good hefty pinch of red pepper flakes
  • fresh ground pepper; I used a combination of black, white, and pink peppercorns


  1. Heat oven to 375º.
  2. Give your chicken or chicken pieces a little shower in the sink and pat down with paper towels. Place the chicken on large plate or plastic cutting board.  Rub with olive oil all over.  Season with salt, peppers, and sprinkle with a paprika and set aside.
  3. Place the garlic and sliced onion and fennel in a bowl and add 2 Tbsp olive oil along with citrus quarters, olives, salt, red pepper flakes, and 3/4 tsp paprika and mix well to coat everything evenly.
  4. Use a roasting pan that is at least 1 -2 inches deep and large enough so the chicken pieces are not crowded and so your sauce does not over flow.
  5. Place the onion and fennel mixture in the pan so it covers the bottom of the pan, then place the chicken on top of the mixture.
  6. *Roast for 1 hour; check with a meat thermometer after about 50-55 minutes. Place thermometer at the thickest part of the meat.  It should be 165º.  Do not cook for more than 1 hour 10 minutes; your chicken could dry out. If you are roasting separate chicken pieces, test the temperature of the smaller ones and remove them earlier than the thicker ones.  You can add them in again after the other pieces have reached ideal core temperature.
  7. Serve whole or remove the meat from the bone and place in a serving platter.  Pour the sauce and the onion and fennel mixture over the top.  Delicious!!!


For convection roasting you can start checking the core temperature at around 45 minutes.

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