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Dijon Chicken with Apples, Leeks and Fennel: overhead view of platter of chicken on the table with one portion on a plate to the side, bowl of basmati rice, apples, rosemary, fennel on the table

Dijon Chicken with Apples, Leeks and Fennel

  • Author: Stacey
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x


You are going to love my one-pan Dijon chicken with apples, leeks and fennel. This is gourmet comfort food 101.


Units Scale

For the marinade:

  • 1 teaspoon finely diced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely diced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, finely diced (about 3 large cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the chicken thighs:

  • 6 Chicken thighs (fat trimmed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon for each side of chicken)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (1/4 teaspoon for each side of chicken)

For the bottom of the pan:

  • 3 large leeks, cut in rings (1/4” or so) (see note#1)
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thin sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 apples, peeled and sliced - I used Gala (about 1/4” in thickness)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3-4 small rosemary sprigs
  • 3-4 small thyme sprigs

Optional garnish:

  • Fennel fronds
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Thyme sprigs
  • Chopped parsley

Basmati Rice, optional: (cook per package instructions)

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

NOTE: You will need a large oven-safe pan for this recipe.



  1. Make the marinade first. Chop the rosemary, thyme, and garlic and put in a small bowl. Add Dijon mustard, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and pepper. Whisk together until well blended.
  2. Trim the fat from the chicken thighs. Cut any obvious flaps of fat hanging off the chicken. I usually cut extra fat from the underside as well. Put chicken in a large mixing bowl. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour Dijon marinade in bowl and mix with chicken to make sure all pieces are coated.
  4. Transfer chicken to a slider bag. Scrape any marinade left in bowl into the bag with the chicken. Squeeze air out of bag, massage chicken one final time for even marinade distribution. I lay the chicken pieces out flat. Marinate for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator and up to overnight. I usually do overnight.
  5. Once the chicken is marinated and ready, cut the fraggle-top ends from the leeks. Cut the leeks into rings about ¼” thick or so and put them in a large bowl with some water. We’re using the white and light green part. You can discard the dark green part.
  6. After all the leeks are sliced, push them down in the water bowl and separate the rings. They won’t all separate and that’s okay. Leeks can be very dirty so they need to be cleaned thoroughly. Once rinsed, drain the water and make sure the leeks have no residual dirt. Put sliced leeks in a large oven-safe pan.
  7. The fennel. We’re using the white bulb so cut off the green and discard. You can save the leafy part (called fennel fronds) for garnish if you like. I used a mandolin to slice my fennel (either ¼” or 1/8” setting is fine). If you don’t have a mandolin that’s fine too. Just slice thin with a knife. Should total about one heaping cup of sliced fennel.
  8. Add fennel to the pan with the leeks. Then add olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat the leeks and fennel.
  9. Peel the apples and slice into ¼” wedges. I peeled 3 apples in the video, but only ended up using two. It was more than enough. Feel free to use three if you want it more appley.
  10. Place a few rosemary sprigs and thyme sprigs in with the leeks and fennel. Sprig size should be about 1 ½” to 2” in length.
  11. Place the apple slices on top of the leeks, fennel and herbs. Then sprinkle brown sugar on top of apples.
  12. Add the chicken on top of the apples. Five chicken thighs around the edges and one in the center. Press down gently on the chicken to nestle the thighs into the mixture. Wipe off any garlic from the skin of the chicken and push it down into the pan with the leeks. If garlic is on the skin it might burn during the cooking process.
  13. Cook in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for one hour or until internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees.
  14. If you have parsley on hand, you can chop some of this for garnish as well. See optional garnish in ingredient list.
  15. To serve: you can plate it individually with rice on bottom, apple & leeks mixture on top of rice and chicken on top of that. You can serve family style with apple & leek mixture on bottom of plate or small platter – chicken on top. Garnish with extra rosemary, thyme, fennel fronds, parsley if you have on hand. My video shows both presentations.