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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Double Fennel Roasted Chicken

I saw some fennel at Jusco, locally grown at Camerons. Whoopppie!!! They were cheap!!! I didn’t know what to do with them but I bought them anyway cos I was told, it’s a new produce and it’s not sold often. I’ve seen fennel growing in Camerons before, in Mardi Park in Tanah Rata, but I never knew Cameronians will one day plant this to sell.

Then I saw Australian butternut squash. Usually they are pretty big, but this time I saw some small ones. The name is really enticing, butternut. Is it really that buttery? I won’t know until I’ve tasted it, and that’s for sure. This baby cost me almost RM14. Hahaha!!! The big ones will cost me more than RM30. Crazy!!!
Then I came back and searched on the internet high and low for recipes… and I don’t’ want soup. No fennel soup, no butternut squash soup. In the end, I settled down with roasting them.

1kg Whole chicken legs (3 rather large pieces)
½ Tbsp salt
½ Tbsp fennel seeds
Few black peppercorns or some ground black pepper

2 bulbs of fennel (rather small when compared to imported ones, if imported ones, 1 will do)
Some salt and some pepper
Few cuts of Butternut squash, just as a rack and part of the meal later on (You can substitute with pumpkin)
Some butter and 1 tsp of honey for each leg

1. Mill salt, fennel seeds and black peppercorns until fine.
2. Rub (1) onto chicken legs.
3. Marinate them for at least 1 hour (do not stack them, and leave them uncovered in the fridge to dry up a bit)
4. Preheat oven to 180/200C.
5. Place butternut squash onto baking pan. Slice fennel and sprinkle them over butternut squash. Season with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. (just like what Jamie Oliver usually will do)
6. Place marinated chicken over fennel and butternut squash.
7. Thinly slice some butter and lay them on the chicken.
8. Bake for 30 minutes until golden
9. Remove chicken frm oven and quickly brush (I just use the back of spoon) 1 tsp of honey on each leg.
10. Pop them back into the oven for another 15 minutes. They will be very golden when done.

The chicken was just nicely cooked, saltiness level perfect. The roasting juices were wonderfully sweet!!!! Not sweet from the honey but from the chicken, butternut and fennel. What could be better than to have some rice to soak up all the gravy… err.. you may like mash potatoes, but we like rice. And I made some garlic rice to go with it. (Recipe for garlic rice, later)

If you ask me what does fennel smell like when raw.. a bit like celery, a bit like parsley.
What it taste like when cooked… Celery, the bottom white part of celery. Just that it has more texture to chew on.

What does butternut squash look like inside : A pumpkin
What does butternut squash taste like when cooked : A pumpkin, hahaha!! Just nuttier.

Any of you have any recipes to suggest me for fennel?? Preferably no soups and salads.


  1. Your roast chicken looks so good!

  2. Wendy, I decided next time I will visit your blog only after lunch, you are making me so hungry now!

  3. The fennel looks really pretty! I have never worked with them before. The first time I used butternut was 6 years ago. I bought 2 butternut squash in US and brought them back with me... very cheap. I made a soup out of it for Christmas dinner...:)

  4. Personally not a fan of fennel, too strong a flavor for me. But after roasting with the chicken (leg) & butternut squash (i like) , I think it should release it's juice and absorb some from the chicken....can imagine the deliciousness of this main dish. :)

  5. Hi,
    Chicken look lovely.
    Fennel is very declicious raw in salad. you can shave it thinly like onion.
    or it is really good if you pair it with fish. Jamie Oliver have a few recipe that i love. steaming fish with fennel is really yum. just use it like onion, discard the long part, only use the bulb.

  6. Hi... looks tempting.. Guess would going to try on weekend.. :)

  7. Wen,

    Jess Bakericious,
    Hahaha, I know you love chicken.

    Actually I got to know that there are butternut squashes here too. Locally grown, sold at the price of pumpkins (cheap!!!). When I saw a pic on Martha Stewart's, then only I realise, there are butternut squashes at the wet market.

    The fennel really taste very strong, but, I've got to say, it's very sweet. I didn't eat much of the fennel, but we slurped up the gravy!!

  8. Dorcas,
    Fennel for steaming fish???
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Great, let me know how it goes.

  9. Very delicious roast chicken! Look at the golden brown skin make me hungry! I love roasted butternut squash, yummy!

  10. That chicken look so good I can imagine the taste of that crispy looking skin! I have not eaten fennel before, but after reading your desciption, I don't think I want to try lol! Not really into celery:P

  11. Kitchen Corner,
    I love roasted butternut squash too, so does my kids, but the biggest kid in the house hates it. Hahaha.

    It's stronger than celery.
    You can skip the fresh fennel if you want.

  12. Cool! Wow! This looks really good. The next time I go to JB, I must look out for the fennel and the butternut squash. Actually, I've never bought them in Sgp before. You way of baking the veg and roasting the chicken looks so good! So yummy!

  13. I know I love the taste of fennel when I first ate it, cooked by my Italian friend. Unfortunately I can't recall how it was done.

    Your chicken looks really juicy.

  14. Both are new to me, i need to learn from you, sorry I can't suggest any recipes..

  15. I hv funny story about fennel. Just happened to me 2 days ago. I was looking at my vege patch, and decided to pull out my carrot. Pull pull pull, dig dig dig..and then realised... OOPS. That was my fennel.

    KA KA KA KA KA... their first sprout leaves are so similiar to carrot leaves! Ayo..felt bad, quickly pat back the soil, put more fertiliser and watered it.

    You can slice up the fennel bulb and stir fry with any green vege. It is so sweet, you don't need to add any sugar. Also fennel is superb with fish!

  16. oh..and I used to grow fennel in KL too. You can, it grows like CRAZY!

  17. Passionate about Baking,
    I'm not sure about fennel in JB's Jusco.
    But fennel is easily available at supermarkets selling lots of expat stuff. They may not be that cheap compared to the Jusco in Ipoh, that is selling local fennel.

    Thanks for scratching ur head a while for me.

    It's ok. Both are new to a lot of locals. I am still new, as I've only eaten fennel once.

  18. Great look roast chicken. As for the fennel I usually roast it, put it in salad and also I like to stir-fry it with meat.

  19. Che meravigliosa e gustosa ricetta, complimenti

  20. Gert,
    Stir fry with meat, like onion???
    I heard some Chinese use it to do a chicken stir fry.


  21. Yoooh, everytime I see stuff like this I feel the urge to get that oven lah...The chicken thighs look superb!!

  22. It's 10.26pm and looking at the pics of the roasted chicken makes me want to have a midnight feast! :)
    I bought some potted dill, rosemary, sweet basil and thai basil seedlings from jusco jb. now I'm left with the basils. The other two withered away.
    Hopefully I can get fennel on my next visit.

  23. Meldy,
    What's holding u back?
    A counter top oven is not that expensive compared to ur blender!!!!

    Oh ur sweet basil survived? Good!!
    These plants need to be introduced to the hot weather gradually. It will die when exposed to sudden heat. The supermarket is cold and the temperature can vary with the weather outside.
    I have a huge pot of rosemary on my balcony now. Been there for almost 2 months, and very healthy

  24. oh no, the chicken skin is calling me...

  25. Wow, nicely done roast chicken....mmmmm, the inviting aroma of fennel! Delicious!

  26. That is a lovely dish...big fan of fennel!

  27. Mott,
    Haha, Yeah, I know how smiliar the leaves might look, but the arrangement might be different.
    I didn't know fennel can be planted on lowlands?
    Using the regular jintan putih seeds? Oh, then I'll try that next time.

    Swee San,

    You love fennel too?

    3 hungry tummies,

  28. Look great, i wonder whether i can bring this to Russian or nope wakakakaka

  29. Haiz...家家有本难念经 know my MIL la, she'll nag at me if I buy another electrical. But I'll buy it one day...

  30. I like this roast, shall try soon...

  31. Meldy,
    Sure.. I am wishing for the 1 day when u can be the boss of the kitchen :)

    Hope u like this.

  32. Wendy..!! thnx.. u just solved my searching about this 'fennel' things.. I thought this vege unable to find here in Malaysia..:) Great cooking anyway..sounds delicious to me..!!

  33. Maya,
    It is easily available in Jaya Grocer, Village Grocer or Ben's Independant Grocer.
    Sometimes in Jusco.

  34. Hi Wendy,

    I wanted to roast a whole chicken and I did get a chance to do that during Raya holiday. I incorporate two recipe onto one. I substitute the fennel rub with just olive oil, salt and pepper and infuse it with rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon and few clove of garlic (which I learn from Fabio Viviani) and the rest is your recipe and it out great. Thanks for the recipe and simple cooking method. Your blog is my recipe book now :) .

    Wendy, do you have anything on how to cook a bah kuet teh (hope I spelt it correctly).


  35. shasha,
    Your roast chicken sounds good but I dare not take any credit for it since there are so many changes to it :p
    Here, we normally make bak kut teh with store bought spice pouch ;(
    Even if I blog about it, I'll just mention spice pouch, that doesn't help much right?


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