Roasted Chicken Breasts with Carmelized Fennel and Onion

  • Posted on: December 19, 2013


Caramelized onions are their own are pretty amazing but combine it with fennel and it becomes magical. This is a fairly simple dish to make and it is full of flavor.   If you have a houseful of guests coming for the holidays, this could be a great dinner.  You could do this with a whole chicken or add some chicken legs and thighs to make more.

I haven’t posted many meat recipes on here because I was a vegetarian when I started this blog, although it  was short lived.  After about two years my body was craving meat.  One night when I was making chicken for the kids I found myself eating a piece as I took it off the pan.   And then another piece, and another.  It tasted incredible.   I went from being a vegan to making bone broth!  Huh….We learn as we go.   I actually learned a great deal from being a vegan and used ingredients that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about.   I think it made me more creative in the kitchen.  My dear husband has been so great along the ride -even thought I was a pretty creative vegan cook, I think he is happy to have meat back in the house.

I believe in listening to your body.   Your friend may do great as a vegetarian, vegan, or even on a juice cleanse but it might make you feel weak.   That is okay; are bodies are all different.   I eat  meat now but I am very conscientious of where the meat comes from.   Personally eating a factory farmed piece of meat is so unappetizing that I would rather eat a flavorful vegetarian dish.

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Here is why I don’t eat factory farmed meat:

1. Those animals suffer their entire lives and are essentially sick- super sad

2. Factory farming is terrible for the environment and I don’t want to support that type of farming- . we need to eat “green” too!

3. The animals are confined in tortuously small spaces and  fed a GMO diet of corn and soy which makes them sick and then they are given  hormones, antibiotics and other drugs that I don’t want in my body -You are what those animals eat too.

4.   The fat from these animals is  essentially toxic and  that can cause inflammation which leads to many other diseases. -No one wants that in their body, right?

I eat good quality  pasture raised and organic meats because it’s a very healthy option and that kind of meat provides quality protein and vitamins (B12!) and good fats that we need!   I would rather spend my money on good quality food than money at the doctors office.  Your kitchen can be the best pharmacy.

If there is one thing I have learned in my Therapeutic Chef school it is not to be afraid of GOOD FATS!   Fat doesn’t make you fat; sugar and processed foods do..  Vitamin A, D, E and K are all fat soluble, meaning you need to eat fat to get the benefits.    Eggs from pasture raised hens contain 19 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids than a factory farmed chicken! (   And please, for goodness sake, eat the whole egg.   All the nutrition and good fats are in that yolk and it’s not want raises our cholesterol.

Here is an excerpt from a article on Huffington Post: (for the whole article, click here)

“And there are several nutrients specific to the egg yolk that help promote overall health. Egg yolks are one of the richest dietary sources of the B-complex vitamin choline, which is associated with better neurological function and reduced inflammation. There’s also evidence that dietary choline helps with fetal brain development when pregnant women eat it. Another side benefit of a diet rich in choline is, well, happiness.”

As with anythings though, moderation.  4-6 eggs a week are probably a good amount for most people.

Chicken, specifically pasture raised chicken, with the bone and skin still on the meat is a very healthy protein option because you get more nutrition out of it,  as well as collagen which in turn is great for our skin and bones.   Chicken is high in niacin, which is known to be cancer protective; it is high in selenium which helps support thyroid function. Chicken is also packed with B vitamins which help with energy, mood and stress.   We all need to reduce our stress levels around the holidays!

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Okay,  health lesson is over and we are back to the food.   I hope you make and enjoy this delicious meal soon.   Have a big salad on the side and you’ve got a great dinner.



Roasted Chicken Breasts with Carmelized Fennel and Onion

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2-4 servings


  • 2 pasture raised chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • Few pinches of sea salt and pepper
  • ½ lemon, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp organic butter or ghee
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • Sea salt to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375

2. Wash and dry chicken and salt and pepper skin and flesh.

3. In a large oven safe sauté pan, brown chicken on each side for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

4. Melt butter in the same sauté pan over medium and add onion and fennel. Saute for 5-8 minutes, until onions are translucent, stirring often. Turn off heat.

5. Add chicken breasts, chicken stock, thyme and the rest of the lemon to the pan, spreading them out evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until juices run clear and chicken is 165 degrees F.
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