Roast chicken with fennel and chorizo



Serves 4-6


For the marinade:

  • 1 teaspoon heaped paprika (sweet or smoked)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • A good grind of pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, stalks removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil


For roasting:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 bulbs fennel, cut in half lenghtways and each half then cut into 3-4 lengthways
  • 15cm chunk chorizo, cut into 1cm rounds
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 2 stalks rosemary
  • 1 handful kalamata olives, stoned
  • 250ml cold water
  • 1 teaspoon bouillon


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes plus 10 minutes restingΒ 

Roast chicken with fennel and chorizo

I see roasting a chicken as a blank canvas, where you can combine all sorts of different flavours in the marinade and roasting tray, in order to produce the result you are looking for. Here the smoky chorizo, sweet fennel and roasted lemons and olives mixed with the spice from the marinade take me straight back to Morocco.


Preheat the oven to 170/325/gas 3.

To make the marinade, dry roast all of the spices for 3 minutes until their aromas are released and they start to gently smoke. Crush to a powder in a pestle and mortar. Add the garlic and rosemary, and pound. Add the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper and mix together. Using your hands. massage the marinade over the chicken.

Stuff 1/4 of the lemon, fennel stalks and rosemary inside the chicken. Place the fennel, chorizo, olives, rosemary, bouillon and water in a medium roasting tray and lay the marinated chicken on top. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes, take the chicken out. Stir the fennel to stop it burning and turn the chicken upside down so that it is breast-down. Cook for a further 20 minutes, before covering it in foil and cooking it for a further 30 minutes.

By now, the chicken should be cooked, but it’s always good to test it first by turning it the right way around and cutting between the breast and the thigh. This is the thickest part of the bird and takes the longest to cook. If the bone comes away easily when you push down, and the juices are clear then it is cooked. If you can still see pink raw flash and juices, pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes at a time until it is clear.

When the chicken is ready, leave it covered to rest for 10 minutes to let the juices absorb back in to the meat. Serve with boiled new potatoes or Puy green lentils and all the lovely caramelised bits and bobs from the tray. You will have created your own delicious sauce so no need to make additional gravy.

P.s. If you are making the Thai chicken and butternut soup later in the week, keep the chicken carcass and any leftover meat.



Roasting the bird breast-up crisps the skin, which adds flavour. By turning the bird upside down half way through cooking, all the lovely juices from the breast will run back into the bird, creating a succulent meal. Covering the tray in foil helps the fennel, chorizo and olives melt into the most delicious smoky-caramelised fennel sauce.”

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