Roast Chicken with Fennel and Lemons

Beautiful and fragrant, fennel is a lovely addition to our herb garden before the bulbs grow large enough to harvest. The greens from fennel are an added bonus to the large bulbous stem. The leaves can be added to salads or used as a bed to steam fish in.

Not quite cooked, but pretty enough to warrant a picture. When finished the fennel is almost dissolved in the chicken’s juices.


  • 1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), rinsed and patted dry (liver and giblets removed)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 lemons, halved or quartered
  • 2 fennel bulbs, cored, stalks discarded, and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Place a lemon half in cavity. Using kitchen twine, tie legs together. Add fennel and remaining lemons to sheet and toss with oil.
  2. Roast until juices run clear when chicken is pierced between breast and leg, or an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 165, 60 to 70 minutes, basting chicken with pan juices and tossing fennel halfway through.
  3. Transfer chicken to a platter and cover loosely with foil; let rest 10 minutes. Carve chicken. Serve with fennel and lemons.