Braised Chicken Thighs with Olive, Orange & Fennel


This technique sears chicken thighs before braising. Serve this vibrant skillet chicken dish with rice or cauliflower rice.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 5 mins
4 servings


  • 4 teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 4 large bone-in, skinless chicken thighs (1 3/4-2 lbs. total), trimmed

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 teaspoons orange zest

  • ½ cup orange juice

  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives


  1. Place fennel seeds on a cutting board and crush with the bottom of a small saucepan. Set aside.

  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning as needed, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

  3. Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, crushed red pepper, and the crushed fennel seeds; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add orange juice and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and bay leaf; return to a simmer. Cook for 1 minute, mashing the tomatoes with a potato masher.

  4. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Partially cover the pan; cook until the chicken is tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers at least 175 degrees F, 40 to 45 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in olives and orange zest.


To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

311 Calories
15g Fat
14g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 1 chicken thigh + about 1/3 cup sauce
Calories 311
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 30g 60%
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 151mg 50%
Sodium 425mg 18%
Potassium 710mg 15%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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