Member recipe

Fennel Potato Bake with Za'atar Roast Chicken

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Cooking time

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 54 minutes Resting timeonce removed from oven: 15 minutes.

Skill level

More effort


Serves 6

A reliable one-pan wonder, fragrantly spiced & creamy, served with a sharp fresh fennel salsa.

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For the bake:

  • I head fennel, topped, tailed and sliced
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1cm thick slices
  • 6 chicken things, excess fat removed, skin left on
  • 2 white onions: 1 cut into rings, 1 finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and microplaned
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 30g salted butter
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp za'atar spice rub
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Zest & juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup double cream
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp Maldon salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • Good grinding black pepper

For the Fennel Salsa Verde:

  • 1/2 head fennel, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 1 jalapeno chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Pinch Maldon salt
  • Good grinding black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Heat the oil and butter in an oven proof dish or large frying pan (one that you can pop into the oven later). Saute the finely chopped onion and garlic for 8 minutes or so, and then turn the heat down slightly.

  2. Lay the fennel and onion slices all over the bottom of the pan: I tend to do this in a circular pattern. Then top this layer with the sliced potatoes, again in a circular fashion. Turn the heat up slightly, and add ¼ cup of the wine, and let bubble away for a minute.

  3. Turn the heat down slightly, top the potato layer with the chicken, and sprinkle the salt, peppers and za’atar over the chicken pieces.

  4. Allow to bubble slowly on the low heat for 2 minutes: while this is happening, mix the ½ cup of remaining white wine, the mustard, cream, herbs and parmesan in a jam jar and shake very well, until it is mixed, almost like a dressing. Pour this in between the chicken, letting the dressing soak into the potato layer.

  5. Pop into a preheated oven (180 degrees celsius) and roast for 40 minutes: the chicken should be crispy and golden on top.

  6. Let the dish rest for at least 15 minutes before serving: this allows the potatoes and fennel to absorb some of the gorgeous mustard cream. Please ensure you allow for the resting time: it makes such a difference!

  7. While the chicken is roasting, make the salsa verde: simply whizz all of the ingredients up, using a hand held blender or similar appliance, until you have a lovely green paste.

  8. Serve the salsa verde in little bowls with each helping of the spiced roasted chicken. So good.

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