Chicken Valbonnaise

Chicken Valbonnaise

Prep Time


Cook Time

40 minutes


4 people
Chicken Valbonnaise

The south of France still has a few traditional mills that press the local olives.  I was lucky enough to live by one and they had a marvelous tapenade; olive paste, that they made there.  The farmer down the road grew fennel that I would buy on my way home from the olive mill and one day I decided to put the two together and Chicken Valbonnaise was born! Valbonnaise, only because the little village where I lives is named Valbonne. If you can’t find tapenade in your local market you can simply place a cup of Greek olives along with the fennel in your roasting pan!


  • 8 Chicken thighs
  • 8 teaspoons Tapenade
  • 2 or 3 Fennel Bulbs cut in 6 pieces each
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil


  • 1 Preheat oven to 450°F
  • 2 Separate the chicken skin from the meat forming a pocket.
  • 3 Fill with 1 teaspoon tapenade and massage so that the tapenade spreads out across the meat.
  • 4 Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish and surround with the fennel pieces.
  • 5 Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
  • 6 Put chicken into upper third of the oven and reduce the temperature to 375°F.
  • 7 Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the thighs, or until nicely browned.


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