January 27, 2011

Chicken braised with Meyer lemons, fennel, and olives

Meyer lemons are in the grocery store right now so I bought a bag the other evening. I've never cooked with Meyer lemons before, but I knew that they were sweet and tart. I've always loved olives, and lately I've been really wanting to incorporate them into more dishes. So I thought about it for a while and I thought that the combination of the Meyer lemons, fennel, and green olives would work well together. I combined them with a few other ingredients and some chicken and this dish was the result. For a starchy side, I cooked up some noodles (plus they were useful for eating up the remaining braising liquids). This dish turned out good, but I thought the leftovers the next day were even better. This dish should serve about 4 people. 

Chicken braised with Meyer lemons, fennel, and olives
1-1.5 lbs chicken breasts, thighs, or a combination
1/2 cup flour
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced with fronds reserved
1/3 cup extra dry vermouth or white wine
about 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2-3/4 cup large, firm green olives
2 Meyer lemons
extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper the chicken and then lightly dredge in flour. Shake off the excess.

In a large skillet, warm 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. When hot, add the chicken (do it in two batches, if necessary). Cook until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Add the garlic and shallot and saute for about 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add the fennel, salt, pepper, and paprika and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the vermouth and scrape the bottom of the skillet to de-glaze the pan. Then add the chicken stock, honey, and the zest and juice of one Meyer lemon. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Place the chicken back in the skillet. Make sure the liquid comes about halfway up the chicken (add more stock if needed). Cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken is cooked though (this will vary depending on the size/thickness of your chicken and whether or not it is boneless).

When the chicken is no longer pink, add the olives and the second Meyer lemon, sliced. Stir well and taste for seasonings (I added a bunch of black pepper). Adjust as needed (add more honey if this dish is too tart for your taste). Cook with the lid removed for approximately 5 minutes. Garnish with minced fennel fronds and some extra paprika and then serve hot with noodles, if desired. 

What was I cooking one year ago? Tom Kha Gai (Thai chicken coconut soup)


  1. What incredible flavors to match up with chicken! Insanely delicious!

  2. was the chicken with skin, bone-in or without please? thanks!

    1. I used skinless and boneless, but it doesn't really matter. You can use any chicken you like best. Enjoy!


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