Brothy Braised Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Pernod

Caregory : Dinner Ideas

Here, bone-in chicken thighs are browned then braised with fennel, leeks, and a bit of Pernod, which intensify the snappy licorice-ness of the fennel. After braising the chicken thighs, the whole dish is finished with a shower of fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon for brightness. A hunk of good, crusty bread for sopping is all you need to round out this meal.


    • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (4 to 6 thighs)

    • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

    • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced crosswise (about 2 1/3 cups)

    • 2 medium leeks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (light green and white parts only) (about 2 cups)

    • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

    • 1/4 cup Pernod

    • 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed

    • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh tarragon, for garnish

    • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fennel fronds, for garnish

    • Lemon wedges and flaky sea salt, for serving (optional)


    1. Season chicken thighs with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and pepper. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken thighs, skin side down; cook, undisturbed, until nicely browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and brown other side, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.

    2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pan; return to medium-low heat. Add fennel and leeks; cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in Pernod, scraping up any browned bits that have formed at the bottom of the pan. Cook until liquid is mostly absorbed, about 1 minute. Season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

    3. Return chicken to pan along with any residual juices. Pour in enough of the stock to come halfway up chicken thighs; bring to a simmer. Partially cover, and cook until chicken is done and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

    4. To serve, spoon the braising liquid around the chicken with a showering of the tarragon and fennel fronds. Serve with lemon wedges and flaky salt, if desired.


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