Skillet Chicken with Tomatoes, Fennel & Fresh Thyme

If your family’s main complaint about boneless, skinless chicken breasts is that they’re dry, then braising may be your answer! The slow-and-low technique keeps meat moist.
Publish date:
Skillet Chicken with Tomatoes, Fennel & Fresh Thyme

Reader Recipe Tester:
Lori Lanham
Greensboro, North Carolina
“I’ve always heard fennel described as having a licorice taste, so I’ve avoided it. But when I tried the Skillet chicken with Tomatoes, Fennel & Fresh Thyme, I was pleasantly surprised! The taste was mild and nothing like licorice, plus my family loved it!”

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 4 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, plus additional to taste
  • 1 large fennel root, quartered, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 3/4 cups crushed tomatoes in purée (boxed or jarred)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives, pitted, optional
  • Fresh oregano leaves and minced flat-leaf parsley for garnish, optional


  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and season with salt and black pepper. In a large braiser or heavy skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add chicken and sear for 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Stir in fennel, mushrooms, tomatoes, oregano and thyme. Return chicken to braiser, spooning vegetables and sauce over top. Cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until chicken’s juices run clear and no pink remains. Remove and discard thyme.
  3. Divide mixture among serving plates, dividing evenly. Top with olives, fresh oregano and parsley, if desired.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 piece skillet chicken and 1 1/4 cup vegetable sauce
  • Calories: 260
  • Carbohydrate Content: 20 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 65 mg
  • Fat Content: 9 g
  • Fiber Content: 5 g
  • Protein Content: 27 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 1.5 g
  • Sodium Content: 380 mg
  • Sugar Content: 3 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content: 1 g