Crispy Baked Chicken for Two, with Fennel Slaw

Thursday 9 August 2012

There is something deeply satisfying about a buttery, breaded and spiced breast of chicken baked until crisp . . . yet still fork tender on the insides . . . served alongside of a crisp and flavourful slaw . . . eaten out on the patio on a warm summer evening . . . shared with the one you love.

This is the perfect summer supper pour deux. The bread crumbs . . . all savoury and buttery . . . gilding the chicken breasts in a golden crisp blanket . . . with just a hint of spice. It won't smack you in the face . . . but it's there . . .

The chicken all tender and moist beneath that buttery blanket . . . perfectly cooked . . . juicy and still succulent. I favour cornfed organic chicken myself . . . it has lots of flavour.

Don't feel guilty about those buttery crumbs . . . if you are going to take off the skin, you've just got to replace it with something flavourful to help keep that delicious chicken meat from drying out . . . you won't regret it . . .

And that slaw . . . crisp and slightly anisey flavoured . . . fennel goes so well in a summer slaw . . . don't you think??? Save a few of the tender fronds to garnish the slaw . . . I did and it looks so perfectly pretty . . .

With just enough tartness from the lemon juice, which helps to cut through the richness of the mayonnaise . . . the touch of caster sugar, just taking the edge off the lemon. But . . . you can leave it out if you would rather.

We prefer just a bit of sweetness . . . along with that tart lemon, nippy chives, refreshing parsley . . . and rich mayo . . . perfect with the fennel. Did you know that there are male and female fennel bulbs??? There are . . . the long thin ones are males . . . the short rounder ones are female.

Moi . . . je préfère les femmes . . . they're prettier.
Just sayin, is all . . .

Can you not almost taste it now??? Crisp, buttery . . . moist chicken . . . with the perfect, crunchy and tangy slaw. I'll forgive you if you lick the screen . . . just don't let anyone else catch you . . .

*Crispy Baked Chicken for Two, with Fennel Slaw*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

Crisp chicken, with a bit of a kick . . . served up with a tangy fennel slaw.

100g of soft white bread crumbs (1 1/2 cups)
50g of butter, melted (3 1/2 TBS)
1 tsp of smoked paprika with sweet red pepper and thyme * (see below)
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 (200g) boneless, skinless chicken fillets (ab0ut 6 ounces each)
Fresh Lemon Wedges to serve

For the Slaw:
1 large bulb of fennel, very thinly sliced
2 TBS finely chopped fresh chives
a handful of fresh flat leaft parsley, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 TBS full fat mayonnaise
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 tsp caster sugar
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Have a baking dish lightly buttered and ready to use.

Place the chicken breasts, one at a time into a heavy duty zip lock bag. Bash them out a bit with a rolling pin. You want them about 1/3 of an inch all over. Place into the baking dish. Sprinkle with some salt and black pepper

Mix together the bread crumbs, butter and seasoning mix. Sprinkle this over top of the chicken fillets, dividing it equally amongst them.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and the juices run clear.

Make the fennel Slaw while the chicken is cooking. Slice the fennel really thinly into a bowl. (I use my mandoline.) Tip in the mayonnaise, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as required. Stir in the fresh herbs, just before using.

Serve each chicken breast on a plate along with a portion of the fennel slaw and a few lemon wedges for squeezing over the chicken fillets if desired.

*To make your own herb spice mixture:

1 TBS smoked paprika (Pimenton)
1 TBS dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 tsp regular paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper

Stir all together and keep in a tightly covered container in a dark place.


  1. Mmm, that looks super yummy!! I really need to try fennel one of these days... I'm wary...

  2. I made this last night for the fennel slaw - I do love fennel, but the chicken was the star. It was moist and the flavor was incredible. I didn't have smoked paprika, so used half regular paprika and half chipotle. I left out the crushed red pepper since I used the chipotle and it had enough zing. The chicken was moist and delicious. This will show up often at our table.

  3. Thanks Karina for letting me know how much you enjoyed this recipe. The chicken is the star, but the two together . . . bliss. Have a great day! xxoo


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