Fennel Crusted Roast Chicken with Smashed Sweet Potatoes

On Wednesday, December 8th, 2010


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 large (1 pound) sweet potato
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toast fennel seeds in a medium pan over high heat. Crush lightly in a mortar and pestle.

In a large bowl combine butter and 2 tablespoons of crushed fennel seeds. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place sliced onion in the bottom of a roasting tray. Wash chicken under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towels. Season cavity with salt and pepper then place garlic inside and place chicken in roasting tray on top of onions. Using your fingers, separate the skin from the breast then smear some of the fennel butter into this pocket. Smear the rest on the outside of the bird, ensuring to get it inside all the gaps between the legs and wings. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Tie the legs with kitchen twine.

Place roasting tray in the centre of the oven and roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.

Prepare sweet potatoes: Using a fork, prick the sweet potatoes all over then place on a small sheet tray in the oven to bake for 1 hour. Total cook time for chicken is 1 hour 15 minutes, total cook time for sweet potatoes is 1 hour.

Remove chicken from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and allow to cool slightly. Cut sweet potatoes open and scoop flesh into a large bowl. Add reserved teaspoon of ground toasted fennel seeds and season with salt and pepper. Serve smashed sweet potatoes with fennel roasted chicken.

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