You don't have javascript enabled! Please download Google Chrome! FENNEL AND LEMON BRINED ROAST CHICKEN - The Wholehearted Cook


Dani VennMeat Lover

You might not know this but I’ve been working largely behind the scenes for one of the most inspiring Australian companies, Melrose Health, for the good part of two years. It really has been a dream job working on creating beautiful organic products that not only are delicious but are good for you too as well as developing recipes for their range.

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of c0-hosting and catering a special lunch to celebrate the re-launch of their Healthy Kitchen Oils and functional Omega Oils range. It was pretty nerve wracking cooking for a room full of people who live and breathe health, nutrition and good food! But I’m happy to report it went very well and the feedback I’ve received about the dishes I cooked has made my heart very full.

The ace Melrose crew!
Products that look pretty on your kitchen bench!

Reflecting back it was one of those pinch me moments. Sometimes in the moment you are so busy, anxious, stressed that you don’t really feel like you are in the room. But looking back on the photos and videos from the day I really feel completely blessed to have been there with some of the most inspiring Australians (hello Rachael Finch, Lola Berry, Steph Lowe and so many more!) who want to make a difference in the lives of others.

Lovely Lola Berry and I

Melrose Heath is also one of those rare companies that genuinely cares about their customers health and wellbeing. I can say that hand on heart as I have seen the inner workings of their business and they do not sacrifice on quality or compromise their values in the slightest. That’s why I am so excited about sharing the best range of healthy cooking oils in the world!

There are some classics that you can’t go past like Coconut and Olive, but some new innovations like Liquid Coconut Oil as well as my personal favourite Coconut Oil and Ghee. (I made roast potatoes with this at the lunch and they were a true showstopper!) There are even some you may not have used like Macadamia (perfect for baking) and Walnut (so delicious) and some you might not have ever heard of like Sacha Inchi Oil, which is high in omega 3 and perfect for salad dressings or even hummus.

Sacha Inchi Hummus with tomatoes and basil on a homemade flax cracker
Making dessert with my best right hand man Heath
Having a laugh with Rachel Finch

You can find more of my recipes using these oils over at the very pretty Melrose website but I thought I’d share with you my Fennel and Lemon Brined Chicken recipe which was a real hit at the lunch!

With Christmas coming up, this is a really lovely way to serve chicken, you can either just serve breasts or this recipe suits a whole chicken roasted too. And it can look really pretty on the Christmas table garnished with pickled fennel, watercress and pink radish.

Fennel and Lemon Brined Chicken with Pickled Fennel, Watercress and Radish

Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus 15 – 24 hours soaking

Cook Time: 20 – 25 minutes (breasts) 70 minutes (whole chicken)


50g salt

50g unrefined sugar

1000mls water

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 lemons, zest peeled

800g chicken breasts or 1 – 1.5 kg chicken


½ cup Melrose Apple Cider Vinegar

½ cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon unrefined sugar

1 fennel, thinly shaved


Small bunch watercress

3 pink radishes, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons Melrose organic olive oil


To make the chicken brine solution, place salt, sugar and water into a mixing bowl and whisk well until sugar and salt has dissolved. Scrunch up lemon zest to release it’s natural oils then place in brine along with fennel seeds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 hours up to 24.

To make the pickled fennel, place apple cider vinegar, water, salt, sugar into mixing bowl, whisk well until sugar and salt has dissolved. Add fennel and place in fridge to pickle overnight.

Preheat fan-forced oven to 180 degrees, remove chicken from brine, pat down with paper towel, place on baking paper and into oven to cook for about 20 – 25 minutes if using breasts or 70 minutes if cooking a whole chicken, or until cooked through and slightly golden. Allow to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before slicing.

To serve, place sliced or cut up chicken on serving platter, top with a little watercress, pickled fennel and radish and drizzle over olive oil.


If you would like more colour on the chicken skin, heat a griddle pan, add olive oil and char chicken breasts quickly (like 30 seconds or less) to achieve a charred skin.


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