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RECIPE: Tarragon Chicken and Fennel Traybake

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

Food writer and author Sam Gates gives us her suggestion for a simple Friday night supper as you arrive at Plum Cottage.

Easy Weekend Dinner - Tarragon Chicken & Fennel Traybake

Heading out into the West Sussex countryside on a Friday evening, excited for a weekend in the country, make a stop in the gorgeous market town of Petworth and at The Hungry Guest you can grab what you need for this quick and simple Chicken Traybake for dinner.

At all our Plum Cottages you'll find the equipment needed to prepare this delicious dish, along with the cupboard items - just pick up the fresh ingredients and you're ready to go!

Watch on Instagram

You can see this recipe and Sam Gates in action here.



Serves 2

  • 20g soft butter

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 4 large or 6 small chicken thighs, skin on, bone in

  • 2 bulbs fennel, trimmed, cored and finely sliced (save the fronds for garnish)

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 8 pieces

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

  • 1/2 tbsp flour

  • 50ml water

  • 100ml milk

  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

  • Salt and pepper


Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.

2. Mix the butter, tarragon and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Push the herb butter under the skin of each thigh.

3. Place the fennel and onion into a large roasting tin and toss with the olive oil. Place the chicken pieces on top and smear over any leftover butter or drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes.

4. Baste the chicken and stir the vegetables, before returning to the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is golden and cooked through.

5. Turn the oven off and tip the fennel, onion and and pan juices into a frying pan. Loosely cover the chicken with foil and return to the oven to keep warm.

6. Over a gentle heat, sprinkle the flour over the fennel mixture and stir. Gradually add the water and milk, stirring continuously. When the sauce has thickened, cook gently for two minutes then stir in the mustard and season to taste.

7. To serve, place the chicken on top of the sauce and scatter with fennel fronds.

Delicious alongside rice or new potatoes and fine green beans.

© Sam Gates


Sam’s new book THE GREEN BATCH COOK BOOK, featuring 70 vibrant vegetarian and vegan make-ahead recipes, is out now.

THE GREEN BATCH COOK BOOK, THE BATCH COOK BOOK and THE TIN AND TRAYBAKE COOKBOOK by Sam Gates are available from Amazon and all good booksellers. Happy cooking!

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