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 Medium (with skin)
2 Large (cut in 6 pieces wedges each)
1 Cup (16 tbs)
Cracked black pepper
1.Preheat oven to 450°F.
2.Form a pocket by Separating the chicken skin from the meat.
3.Fill this pocket with 1 teaspoon tapenade and spread the tapenade across the meat.
4.Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish and slide the fennel pieces in and around the chicken.
5.Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
6.Put the chicken into the preheated oven and reduce the temperature to 375°F.
7.Bake for 35 minutes or a litte longer depending on the size of the thighs, until browned nicely.
8.Serve hot along with your favorite salad.