Slow Cooker Fennel Chicken with Orange

slow cooker orange fennel chicken

Today, I proudly pulled a frangrant dinner of Slow Cooker Fennel Chicken with Orange out of my CrockPot. I admit to a somewhat self-satisfied smile as I placed the steaming platter on the family dinner table. After all, it is not everday that a slow cooker meal earns the right to such a pretentious name.

Little by little, my CrockPot is taking small steps to improve its standing in the culinary empire. A few weeks ago, it made a succulent pot of caramelized onions. And now, it has produced a dish worthy of the adjective “Orange-scented.” Best of all, the meal contained no dairy, grains, or other persnickity allergens. My CrockPot and I… we’re going places.

Slow Cooker Fennel Chicken with Orange


  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • fennel bulb, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 bag baby carrots or 1 lb. carrots, cut into sticks
  • 1 orange, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. herbes de provance
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs (or skin-on, you may have to increase the cooking time though)

Layer everything in the crockpot in this order:

  1. Sliced onion
  2. Sliced fennel
  3. Apple cider vinegar
  4. Chicken
  5. Carrots
  6. Sprinkle with half of the seasonings: half the garlic, salt, pepper, herbes and olive oil. Just eyeball everything, no need to measure.
Main Dishes

Finally, cover with the remaining orange slices and remaining spices. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours, until chicken is cooked through and carrots are very tender. Discard the orange slices after cooking.

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    • says

      In all honesty, this recipe was my first time cooking with fennel! I have only used it shaved in salads before this. This is definitely a great way to incorporate the unique veggie into a meal!

  1. says

    yay crock pots! aren’t they the greatest thing since sliced bread?!…err….i mean… 😉 haha just kidding just kidding:) but seriously, i love my crock pot and this looks delicious! i love fennel and orange together!

  2. says

    Hi Lauren,

    Okay, this is super weird! I purchased a crockpot (CP) 8 months ago, yes, 8 months go and there it sat in my garage – siting patiently looking at me like, “Are you kidding, open me lazy person.” I don’t know why it took me so long. But last week I did it. The CP finally made that long 4 foot journey into the house (it really could not have been any closer to the garage door). It was going to be like 104 degrees that day, but I wanted to bake some chicken for dinner. Heating up the oven was not an option. So that morning I threw in some homemade coconut milk, curry spices, onion, carrots and chicken…and 7 hour later a star was born. The chicken, yes it was amazing (and soooooo tender – I didn’t know that was possible), but I looked at my CP like, yay baby, where have you been all my life – you are my champion right about now. Since that magical night, all I can think about is what else I can make in my CP. Apple butter is on the list. I love your onions. I do believe there are books on the subject. I could just kick myself for waiting so long. But I’m giving this appliance lots of long overdue love. :-)

    And I love your recipe here, Lauren. Fab! Can’t wait to try.

    Cheers to the CP! (slow cooker sound so much better). :-)

  3. says

    Hi Lauren,

    I just love this recipe (and since I’m obsessed with my crock pot) I’ll be featuring your awesome recipe tomorrow night on AFW. Thanks for sharing with us. :-)

  4. Kathryn Niflis Johnson says

    Sounds delicious! I just got some organic valencia oranges at the store yesterday…

    The only change I would recommend would be to use bone-in chicken to get the gelatin and minerals from the bones in the process.

    And I’m impressed that you serve it on a platter! I’ll have to admit, we usually eat it right out of the crockpot.

    • says

      That is a great suggestion about using bone-in chicken! I just used the skinless/boneless breasts because that is what we had in our fridge. The skin on the bone-in chicken would help keep the chicken moist, too. Yeah–in real life we serve it out of the crock pot, too!

  5. Natalie says

    This sounds so delicious!! Please do tell more about the caramelized onions in the crockpot. Did you just leave them in there – did you have to stir them a lot?

  6. DeDe says

    Could I substitute beef or pork for the chicken? I only have whole chickens and no time to thaw and cut them up for this. If so, which would be better – beef or pork? I’ve not cooked with fennel before but happen to have some. Thanks

    • Kim says

      6 hours is plenty of cook time for a whole chicken!! (home grown so they are huge) I put them in frozen and still add about a half inch of water in the bottom. I sprinkled the veggies around the chicken with the spices n such, and the orange slices on top. Voila!! Couldn’t be more delicious! My 4 year old has diabetes and fennel is supposed to be good for his blood sugar. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  7. Kathy Rutledge says

    I recently printed a list of items you should and should not eat from a special diet – gluten free. It seems much like the one that you promote. I did notice, however, that in the seasoning list, it says NO VINEGAR. Is that because of the acidity of vinegar or the way vinegar is fermented? I know Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar is usually recommended because it is “raw, unfiltered.”

    Thank you for your great articles!

    • maegen says

      Just came on here to ask the same thing. Can’t believe we’re the first to ask! Making this today so guess I will just have to wing it :)

      • maegen says

        p.s. re: chicken – looks like it can be done both ways with one argument for the top because veggies take longer than the chicken (esp if you’re using boneless which will cook faster than bone-in). As for the spices, still a conundrum…

  8. Edwina says

    Hi There, Looking forward to trying this. How much chicken by weight roughly would you use? Package sizes vary widely I find.

  9. Digruntled reader says

    This is the worst written recipe I have ever seen!

    1. List ingredients in the order in which they are used
    2. Spelling counts – “provence”, not “provance”
    3. What do you do with the other half of the seasonings? If you don’t use them, reduce the quantities.
    4. If you only have 1, then “Tb” (singular) not “Tbs” (plural)

    • Alyson says

      Get over yourself ‘ disgruntled reader’. Missed the point completely. No one wants to read yr critical garbage. You might consider offering feedback in a more constructive respectful manner.

  10. Barbara says

    I’d like to make this recipe – it sounds good and I love Fennel, however, I’m a little confused …. the recipe says …….. “Finally, cover with the remaining orange slices and remaining spices.” …… my question is ….. where in the order of putting ingredients into the Crockpot are the first of the orange slices put ?

    Thanks !

  11. says

    Can’t wait to try this! I’m going to substitute pork since we have a severe poultry allergy in the family (not kidding – is that weird or what?). I think it will be fabulous. Oh, and to the, um, friendly disgruntled person above, TBS is an abbreviation for TaBleSpoon. Not plural of TB (tuberculosis? Maybe? I hope that person isn’t putting TB in food!).

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