Chicken with fennel, harissa & olives

Chicken with fennel, harissa & olives

This simple chicken stew is big on flavour and low on effort thanks to some savvy ingredients and slow-cooker magic. It’s served with buttery polenta, but rice or mash are just as good. 

5 out of 5 stars(1) Rate this recipe
  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare25 mins
  • Cook4 hrs
  • Total time4 hrs 25 mins

Please note, we take every care to ensure the product, allergen and recipe information displayed is correct. However, should a product be unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution provided. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please always check the product label before use.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.2kg whole chicken
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 fennel bulbs, quartered
  • 3 clove/s garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp rose harissa
  • 200ml white wine
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 40g sachet Colman’s Chicken Casserole Recipe Mix
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 60g pitted Kalamata olives
  • ½ x 25g packflat leaf parsley, leaves chopped


  • 1.2 L milk
  • 200g quick-cook polenta
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 30g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated


  1. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken, breast-side down, and fry for 5-7 minutes or until the skin is deep golden brown. Meanwhile, fill the kettle and bring to the boil.

  2. Set up your slow cooker. Put in the chicken, then the onion, fennel and garlic. In a jug, mix the harissa, wine, tomatoes, casserole mix and 300ml just-boiled water; season, then pour over. Add the bay leaf, if using, cover and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low, adding the olives for the final 30 minutes. The chicken will be cooked through with the juices running clear and no pink meat. Turn on the reduction button, open the lid and reduce on high for a further 30-40 minutes; season. (If your cooker doesn’t have this function, reduce in a pan on the hob.)

  3. About 10 minutes before serving, bring the milk to a simmer in a pan. Whisk in the polenta until thickened (about 5 minutes). Add the butter and cheese; season. Lift the chicken from the cooker onto a board. Using a sharp knife, remove the legs, then thickly slice the breast. Arrange on a platter with the veg, olives and cooking juices. Scatter over the parsley and serve with the polenta.

And to drink...

Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand. This wine is bursting with passionfruit, lime and fresh herb flavours; it complements the bold chicken dish well. 


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


4,782kJ/ 1,139kcals



Saturated Fat












Book a slot to see product availability at your nearest Waitrose & Partners store

Rating details

Rate this recipe

Select your rating

Overall rating (5/5)

5 out of 5 stars1 rating