Fennel relish adds pizzazz to classic grilled chicken.

Blaine Moats, EatingWell

A bright and briny relish made from fennel, lemon and olives is the perfect accompaniment in this Italian-inspired grilled chicken recipe. If you prefer, you can substitute 2 bone-in chicken breasts, cut in half (they’re typically large enough to serve two), or a mix of bone-in chicken pieces. Adjust the cooking time as necessary. Serve with a glass of dry Italian wine.

Grilled chicken legs with fennel & olive relish

Servings: 4

Serving size: 1 chicken leg & ½ cup relish

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


2 medium cloves garlic, minced, divided

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided

4 chicken leg quarters (about 3½ pounds), skin removed, trimmed

1 lemon

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, fronds reserved

¼ cup coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives

Preheat grill to medium-high.


Mash half the garlic with 1/8 teaspoon salt using the side of a chef’s knife or a fork to form a paste. Combine the paste in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat.

Grill the chicken, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone registers 165 degrees, 18 to 22 minutes total.

Meanwhile, zest half the lemon and reserve the zest. Cut the lemon into ½-inch-thick slices. Cut fennel in half lengthwise, then, leaving the core intact, cut lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices. Toss the lemon and fennel slices in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon oil and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning once, until tender, about 3 minutes per side for the lemon and 5 minutes per side for the fennel.

Coarsely chop the grilled lemon and fennel and 2 tablespoons of the reserved fennel fronds; combine the lemon, fennel and fronds in a bowl with olives, the remaining minced garlic, the lemon zest and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Serve the fennel relish with the chicken.

Recipe nutrition: Per serving: 462 calories; 26 g fat (5 g sat, 14 g mono); 228 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 4 g total sugars; 45 g protein; 4 g fiber; 484 mg sodium; 928 mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (34 percent daily value), Vitamin A (20 percent dv)

½ Carbohydrate Serving(s)

Exchanges: 1½ vegetable, 2½ fat, 6 lean meat

EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at


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