Roast chicken with fennel & olives

Serve this easy midweek roast with a side of creamy polenta. It's deeply flavoured and aromatic thanks to garlic, thyme and fennel

  • Prep:15 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 35 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 669
  • fat 44g
  • saturates 11g
  • carbs 25g
  • sugars 7g
  • fibre 7g
  • protein 41g
  • salt 1.9g


  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
  • 1½ kg whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • ½ small bunch of thyme
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 100g pitted black olives
  • 250g quick-cook polenta
  • 70g grated parmesan


  1. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Toss 2 tbsp of the oil with the fennel and garlic and spread out on a tray. Rub the chicken with a further 2 tbsp oil, push the lemon halves and thyme into the carcass and season the skin generously. Sit the chicken in the tin and roast for 1 hr, then stir through the tomatoes and olives, season and return to the oven for 20-25 mins, or until the chicken is cooked through. To check, pierce the thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear.

  2. Cook the polenta following pack instructions, then stir through the remaining olive oil and parmesan and season to taste. Carve the chicken and serve with the tomato sauce and cheesy polenta.

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