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+ servings
Roasted Chicken Legs with Fennel and Green Olives
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
A two-step recipe for whole roasted chicken legs with fennel and green olives. Alongside juicy dark meat chicken with crispy skin, roasted lemon wedges, Castelvetrano olives, and a few handfuls of fresh herbs make for bold, summery flavors that really pop.
Recipe Type: Dinner
Keyword: roasted chicken and fennel
Makes: 2 generous servings
Author: Elizabeth Stark
  • 2 whole skin-on, bone-in chicken legs or a mix of thighs and drumsticks
  • Sea salt
  • 1 medium fennel bulb (white part only), cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (reserve green fronds for garnish)
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
  • 1/2 cup pitted green Castelvetrano olives
  • Toasted and cooked couscous, farro, or grain of your choice for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the fennel and shallot with lemon zest. Cut the lemon into wedges and set aside.

  3. Set a 9- or 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and then the fennel mixture. Sauté until fennel is tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Toward the end of cook time, sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Remove the cooked fennel from the skillet (you can set it in the bowl used to toss it with the zest), and turn heat up to medium/medium high so the pan is hot but not smoking. Add a drizzle more oil if needed, and set the chicken in the skillet skin side down. Sear 4 minutes undisturbed, then nudge it around the pan to make sure it browns evenly and cook until golden, another 2 - 3 minutes. Flip and cook 4 minutes longer.
  5. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons rendered fat.
  6. Return fennel and chicken to pan, arrange the lemon wedges around the skillet, add the vermouth, and slide into the oven. Roast chicken legs 12 - 15 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh (next to the bone without touching the bone) reads 165 degrees F.
  7. To serve, arrange cooked couscous, chicken, fennel, and lemon wedges on a platter and top with a few spoonfuls of the pan juices. Sprinkle herbs, including 2 tablespoons minced fennel fronds, over top, scatter the olives, and serve!