Mother’s Day pot roast chicken with fennel & apples – Le Creuset competition!

Woooooooo! Competition time for Mother’s Day – I am so excited to have three of these absolutely gorgeous Le Creuset Stoneware Heritage Oval covered dishes to give away. I have long been a fan (and collector) of the brand, and I can’t think of a more special gift for any mum…and it is too easy to enter. All you need to do is reply in the comments below, telling me what quality you love most about your mother – for me it is my mum’s unshakeable faith that things will always work out in the end! I’ll be choosing three lucky winners and announcing their names on the blog Wednesday 10th May at 5pm. (See below the recipe for further details).
I had so much fun playing around with the dish and decided that my perfect Mother’s Day lunch or dinner would be this pot-roasted chicken with fennels and apple. I stuffed it with lemon, garlic and fennel stalks, then nestled it on a bed of onion, fennel and pancetta. It is started covered to lock in all the lovely moisture, then finished with a good blast uncovered to get the rich, burnished skin. I would serve this with a mound of mash, some green beans, and a bowl of creme fraiche swirled with dijon mustard on the side. A few glasses of bubbly never go astray when it’s time to say thank you either…

Wishing you a great week, and happy time spent celebrating your mum next weekend – I so wish I had my lovely men/boys to celebrate with, but I’m lucky to be catching up with my mum instead! Thanks so much to the lovely team at Le Creuset for their support – and don’t forget to enter below!

2 tbsp olive oil
80g pancetta, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, halved and sliced
1.4kg chicken
3 cloves garlic, squashed
fennel stalks, roughly chopped
2 lemon quarters
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
330mls apple cider
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 10 wedges

fennel fronds to garnish

Preheat the oven to 170˚C (340˚F). Put one tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and cook the pancetta over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until crispy then remove with a slotted spoon, add the onion and fennel, sea salt and pepper and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pancetta to the fennel and onion and stir to distribute, then pour into the base of the casserole dish.  Stuff the chicken cavity with garlic, lemon and fennel stalks and secure with a tooth pick. Put the chicken on the vegetables, and pour cider around the base. Rub the chicken with the remaining oil and season well with salt and pepper. Cover and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the lid, baste the chicken with some of the liquid, increase the heat to 180˚C (350˚F) and cook, uncovered for  30 minutes, add the apple wedges and cook (still uncovered) a further further 20-25 minutes until the chicken is golden and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a skewer. (If you fancy, you can always crank up the grill for the last few minutes to get that extra crispy skin…!) Rest for 5 minutes before serving with mash, blanched green beans and a bowl of creme fraiche swirled with dijon mustard. Serves 6.

(competition only available in New Zealand)
Win one of three stunning Le Creuset Stoneware Heritage Oval covered dishes. (36cm, colour – Dune).
All you need to do is comment below sharing what you love most about your mum. I will be drawing three winners at 5pm Wednesday 10th May (when the competition will close), and announcing them here and via Facebook. The winners must email me their delivery details and address by 9am Thursday 11th May (at fr************@ic****.com) then we will make every effort to get prizes sent out in time for the weekend!


  1. Since I Can remember I've watched my mum cook in our tiny kitchen. She taughte everything she can. She ignited my passion to be a good chef. She's an amazing mum and great mentor. My number one fan and critique who inspires me everyday.

    1. Of course I've always loved my Mum but since becoming a Mum myself in 2016 my love and respect for Mum has grown hugely and she is the most amazing Nana to my little guy. My husband has a very demanding job which has meant I was very much on my own during the week with the baby, I could call on Mum any hour of the night and she would arrive on the doorstep bright and early to take over and let me sleep. Shes been my rock and I love her more now than ever.

  2. My mum taught me how to cook. We spent 6 very early years in Canberra living in an area with people from all over the world. Mum didn't stick with meat and 3 veg and bright so the cuisines around us into our life. It stuck! And she's still inspired by good food and is a wonderful grandmother.

  3. The quality I love most about my mum is that she is a fabulous Nana to my little girl, they have an amazing connection because of it, the time she spends with my daughter is more exciting, enjoyable and thrilling than any toy you could find in a toy store. It's so lovely to watch them together. Thanks Nicola

  4. She's always taking care of me no matter what age I am. At 32 shes still giving me advice on how to cook and even the best ways to clean. If we go over on a Sunday night there's always a meal in the oven. She just knows how to make you feel better all round. This Sunday it will be my oven with the meal in it.

  5. My mum is the heart of our family, she is the glue that holds our feisty family together with her endless love, caring and nurturing. Her staunch and matter of fact approach to surviving a brain tumour, kidney cancer and dealing with her Parkinsons diagnosis inspires me daily as I face my own battles. Despite these storm clouds she continues to draw on her creative energy to make, create and nurture her extended family of friends, children and grandchildren and this inspires me daily to be a better person. She is a rock and I love her dearly.

    1. Congratulations Lisa – you have won one of the beautiful Le Creuest oval dishes! Please email me your address details to fr************@ic****.com and I will arrange for it to be sent as soon as possible. Happy Mother's Day! :)xx

  6. Such a hard question which should be easy to answer ��
    For years I was always Daddy's girl but when my dear dad passed away I saw my mum in a different light. Our relationship changed and has grown over the years. Now she is my bestest of friend and I really can't imagine my life without her in it. I sometimes think it was my final gift from my dad. Mum would love this dish and the receipe.
    Good luck to all those precious mums xx

  7. she is the strongest woman I know. She's been through A LOT and still gets up everyday and cares more than anyone shes is an inspiration and I wouldn't be where I am today without all her lessons.

  8. My mother is one of the kindest people I know. No matter how little notice we give her anytime we turn up there is a beautiful home cooked meal ready. She's an amazing cook and an even more amazing mother!she's always there for advice, a chat and a wine.

  9. Her love of feeding people! Food is always the answer and she can be relied upon to nourish, fuel and put food on the table whenever it is needed – and even when you think it isn't.

  10. Mum is the most amazing person. She's taught me a lot of what I know about cooking. We Shae recipes constantly and have arguments over the best way to do things. She blows me away with her passion and kindness. Always can rely on mum to be there when she's needed.

  11. What do I love most about my Mum? The memories I have of her dancing around the kitchen in a tight skirt singing funny lyrics to the current pop songs, hugs, never wanting to let her go after the goodnight kiss, the clothes she made me… I would give anything to have her back!

  12. What a delicious looking recipe! The thing I love the most about my mum is that she works hard for me and my family. She definitely deserves to be pampered!

  13. I had never thought about pairing apples with chicken. Definitely going to give this recipe a go (already pinned it!)
    As for my mum- I love her honesty. Sometimes it can be brutal, but she never shies away from telling me what I need to hear, but in a loving way (which is so important too- how someone tells you truths)

  14. My mum provides unconditional love and support, always doing the best for us kids. As a soon to be new mum I hope I can be as wonderful as she has been.

  15. All the time spent. All the little things. All the big things… just everything

  16. My Mum was an amazing baker. She taught me everything I know about baking, I only wish I had learnt the secret of her perfect sponges before she died! Mum was very creative and very capable. She taught me that I could do anything I wanted to do.

  17. Mum showed me never ending unconditional love. It's some thing you experience and can't quite describe but is always what makes home really feel like home. That's what I love most about her because that is what I think epitimises my mum.

  18. What I love most about my Mum is that she is a real life superwoman who never complains about a hard days work and always mucks in and gets the job done. Just like the #4:31AM Fonterra campaign, my Mum starts and finishes her day as many rural New Zealander's do in the milking shed, helping produce the wonderful liquid gold produce (a.k.a. milk) that we then turn into such great culinary delights. To top her day off, she always makes sure there is a tasty home cooked dish on the table every evening to nourish our belly's. She loves food, cooking and experimenting with new recipes and techniques which makes her inspiring to me and my sister who are avid foodies! I know my Mum would just love and absolutely treasure this prize!

    1. Congratulations Cassi – you have won one of the beautiful Le Creuest oval dishes! Please email me your address details to fr************@ic****.com and I will arrange for it to be sent as soon as possible. Happy Mother's Day! :)xx

  19. I just can't put my finger on what I love most but what I have come to learn through my adult experiences is that the most accurate synonym for 'mum' is 'superhero'…..[A being with extraordinary physical or mental powers, far beyond the range of normal human ability, who uses these powers to protect the innocent and for the general good]. So blessed to have always had my mum in my corner ��

  20. Your recipe looks delicious. I love le cruset and cook dinner in mine most nights.

    My mum always puts her family first. And until I had a daughter of my own, i never understood how hard motherhood is all the sacrifices it entails.

    Happy Mother's Day to all the mums out there.

  21. My Mum is intuitive and has a knack for knowing what is happening with a situation and what *will* happen ! She is very understanding, and positive, and it is reassuring to have her insights.

  22. Hi Sarah, love your recipes! My mum is awesome because she is so utterly selfless when it comes to other people! 🙂 – Ellie

  23. I love how my mum shows unconditional love and care through endless home-cooked meals and cups of tea for I and my six siblings. Being given boxes and bags of leftovers to take home at the end of visits is the best.
    Happy Mother's Day!!

  24. I love how hard she works, and believes in herself. She went to uni when i started school and is now a general manager with government with 450 staff – she's an inspiration.

  25. My mum died 27 years ago and as I have reached her age I find myself cooking her recipes more and more. I still find I miss being able to ask her how to cook things.

  26. I love my mum's selflessness. She goes out of her way to help others and has taught me that I should do so without expecting anything in return. She quit her job to look after my brother and I when we were young, even though she loved it and it was probably easier than looking after us 24/7. She cooks complicated and incredibly time-intensive meals partly because she enjoys it, but mostly because it's her way of showing her love for our family. She has also always encouraged me to help those in need, whether it be donating money or time, because in the future we might be in a position of need ourselves. My mum has taught me to be a better, kinder person and I really love her for that!

  27. The thing I love most about my mum is that she always shows her family unconditional love, she is always there for us and she always makes the time to spend time with us. ❤️

  28. The thing I love most about my mum is the way she supported me, no matter what terrible choices I was making, she always had my back �� she also passed on her love of cooking, baking and preserving etc to me, something that has served me immensley well over many many years.

  29. Inner strength and resilience are qualities I admire most about my mom, and she has always tried to instill the same in me. No matter how many punches life throws at you, get up, face it and try again.

  30. I love that my mum is always there for me when I need her and will do anything to help her (now adult) kids out! She offered for my husband, our 2 year old and I to live with her so we are able to save to build a house 🙂

  31. If you met her, you'd love her too. Chief supporter for me and my kids, fiercely loyal, always dependable, funny, loving and kind. And not bad at cooking either!

  32. My mum is amazing. To both my sister and I, and now she's an amazing Nana to her grandchildren. She still works full time, and not night shift, and she comes home and continues all her wife, mum and nana duties, without complaint. If she won this, we'd make her this roast in it. And present it that way- rather than her using it first to cook for us 🙂

  33. The ongoing support that she shows to me and my two siblings. I'm from the UK originally, I have lived here with my partner for nearly 10 years and had 3 children. My mum took early retirement so she could come and help when I'd had twins and she recently spent nearly a year here to help with school holidays because my partner and I both work…6 months were without my dad until he could join her. Nothing is ever too much trouble and she is the most amazing grandma to all her grandchildren. We all love her dearly and know that life would be so much harder without her love and support.

  34. I love that my mum does everything she can for me. She has raised me to be independent, but if I ever need help she is the first on their offering it. With out her i would not be where I am today

  35. I love how my mum is my biggest fan, the person who will always love me unconditionally, and the one who probably sees me through rose coloured glasses! She believes I can do anything, so I believe it too. You sound like that kind of mum for your boys, too!

  36. Despite being on the other side of the world, my Mum goes out of the way to check in with me every day – constantly sending me updates of her latest kitchen creation!

  37. I never realized how much my Mum loves me until I explored her attic – and found every letter I've ever sent her, every finger painting, Mother's Day card and school report since day one.

  38. My mum is the best. When I was in the uk she emailed me her mushroom sauce because I missed it so much, then when visiting she cooked 3x roasts and 3x lemon meringue pies for me and my massive share house!!! (of 12) From then on my flatties wud always ask when she was coming back because she reminded them of home. She is my home!!!

  39. My Mum passed away nearly two years ago but so much of her is still around and I see and hear her in myself often. I love the way she gave me a passion for the kitchen and cooking – s different style to me but she laid the foundation. She always encouraged me to do my best and went out of her way to do her best for me.

  40. My Mum is my constant… Through the birth of my own three babes, & into my journey as a Mother, her support & guidance has been tremendous!! She is a beautiful, compassionate woman, & I love her so x

  41. My Step Mum and bio Mum have been a tower of strength to myself and my children and exceptional role models on co parenting successfully.They are both in their mid 70s and I'm proud to be their daughter.-Stella Hall

  42. My late Mum was a fabulous cook and a wonderful warm loving lady who opened our home to all the neighbourhood kids. There was always home baking, a big pot of Dutch chicken noodle and meatball soup on the stove and homemade blackberry and apple pie from the the endless blackberry picking trips all the kids went on. She was such a good sport she cooked possums, rabbits and any other game my brothers would bring home as well. Our home was truly a family home to not only us but all our friends too. Xxxxx you Mum

  43. Mums support when i had done good or wrong she still stood by me, the strength that gives you is not describable but heart felt.

  44. Love the way my mum has the ability to calm me down. She puts it all into perspective for me. Would love to win one if these…. was given one as a wedding present, sold it for steal 10 years on trade me as thought it would be something id never use. Now I love cooking and want it back!

  45. That I know she will be there to lend a helping hand or provide words of wisdom, when ever I require.

  46. Mum lives in a different continent but has always found ways to be in touch with me, since I came to NZ as a teenager. The things I cook are those she has taught me, and also things that I know she would love to eat. Mum is always caring and forgiving, humble and reminds me to always treat others well. I suppose that's how I've come to the habit of bringing baking to every meeting, even if it involves a plane ride. I love my mum! Michelle

  47. I love that my Mum is always super happy to have people stay at there place! She's so hospitable and no matter how many people are there or how chaotic it may be she's always just so chuffed to have visitors:)

  48. Although my Mum doesn't cook often, when she does it is always amazing. She is the glue that keeps our family together. She even gave my Dad a kidney 17 years ago. She is amazing!

  49. Not only do I love Mum's cooking (thanks in part to your recipes Sarah!) but I love how she spots the silver lining in every situation and taught me to have a positive attitude through good and tough times.

    I also particularly love our Saturday morning ritual: catching up over a pot of our favourite cinnamon tea. It's all the little things Mum does for our family that I appreciate the most!

  50. I love my mother's initiative, it's been one of the biggest inspirations in my life. She self-taught herself cooking when she immigrated to NZ as a young woman, so that she went from having to buy McDonalds Georgie pies for dinner to being a wonderful cook whose food I can't live without now. She decided to go back to uni to become a registered nurse even though she left Korea as a fully qualified vet, because the qualification wasn't able to be cross-credited. She did this even though English was her second language. She's a senior nurse now, and was the one who inspired me to go to med school. Pretty amazing lady ��

  51. I love my mum Beryl Taula for her strength and love. I would not be the person I am today without her. She is truly my guardian angel on earth.

  52. I love my mums unconditional support and love. She is my Chief cheerleader in everything I do!

  53. My mum is not with us anymore but she left me with a good solid understanding of how to cook and bake, unfortunately there are no recipes written down for the amazing chocolate cream sponge she use to make, I try to recreate the distinct flavour (we think it was kahlua) but it will never be quite the same. Miss my mum x

  54. Oh gosh where do I start! I love everything about My Mumma Paula Hutton – but especially that she always backs and believes in me, she's always my biggest fan and even from the other end of the country makes me know she's thinking of me. She's gone through a lot the last few years with her partners kids and I've been at the other end of New Zealand and unable to help her at all! She's now all settled in central Otago and I've been down to visit in their new house but won't make it down for Mother's Day. ❤️

  55. I have always loved my mum. Even through my teenage years she has always been there for me. I love the way she will always make meals from scratch. Finding new things to make all the time and experimenting with little changes to flavours when making them again and again.

  56. What I love about my mum is actually her dedication to her family – she visits our grandmother every single day in the rest home, works full time, and prays for our family every single day. She would love to have this as a pressie as I think it might make her cooking life a bit easier 🙂


  57. Although I think my Mum can drive me crazy, she gives of herself to others like nobody else I know – she still shows her love by cooking for me (I've just had an op) and always supported my interest in cooking as a teenager (Peking Duck dried with a hairdryer & handmade pancakes anyone?) . She has shown me the happiness you bring to others with cooking and coming together around the table. She still makes her famous sausage rolls for my girls birthdays. I just know she's there for us – by the way she's 82 and has just come back from a month travelling in Sth America.

  58. Since I had my first baby 6 months ago I have a whole new appreciation for my mum! What I love most about her is how supportive she's been during a tough pregnancy and a challenging 6 months, despite not living in the same city she's here for us whenever we need her and will drop everything to come and stay. She's a great mum and grandma and I couldn't have done this without her 🙂

  59. My mum's unbelievable kindness and compassion. She sacrifices a lot to make other people happy. It upsets me when I find out that someone has taken advantage of her because they know she is super kind.
    I don't know what I would do without my mum!

  60. There are so many things I love about my beautiful Mum. It wasn't until I became a Mum that I realised just how much she did for my brother and I. Unconditional love, care, time and at the end of the day there was always a home cooked meal and baking in the tins. I truly aspire to be like her as a Mum! She's pretty special!

  61. My Mum has taught and armed me with the life skill to succeed in life. With out her love and support i wouldn't be where I am today. She gives her time, love and support to anyone who needs it no matter what the circumstances. I am lucky that Mum lives in the same town and my favourite thing to do for her (and Dad) is to let them relax and take a load off while we cook them dinner.
    Thanks, Selena Johnson

  62. As I've gotten older she's turned into one of my best friends and I always look forward to going home and sitting in the courtyard with her having a morning coffee and a yarn.

  63. My Mum is an amazing lady, and whilst it's hard to choose one thing, I think what I love & appreciate most about her is how generous & caring she is. She's always looking after our immediate & extended family and friends. Often by feeding everyone (where I get my love of food from!), and she spends a huge amount of her time visiting relatives who are elderly or unwell, and welcomes anyone for a meal or to stay with her & Dad.
    I love these beautiful Le Creuset dishes and given we have ridiculously similar taste I know my Mum would also, I wish I could be at home with her Mum this Mother's Day – but unfortunately I live too far away so this would be a fantastic treat for her instead.

  64. My Mum is now bed ridden and her quality of life is very poor but she still always has a smile on her face and keeps going because of her faith.All her kids are overseas away from her but she feels that it is a sacrifice parents make for the better of their kids and has no regrets.I miss her very much and wish I was there with her on Mother's Day but would love to send these dishes to her as a gift.

  65. My Mother was an incredible Woman, she loved her four children and made us the most amazing clothes. She was a professional cake decorator and I would stand and watch her for hours. She was a wonderful baker and cook and I have her love of cooking from her. Sadly I lost her when I was 13 but I still remember those special times together in the kitchen.

  66. The thing I love most about my mum is that she taught me to cook well, and truly appreciate good food. We still cook together (working like a well-oiled machine in the kitchen) whenever we can, and share meals – which includes stories, memories, tears and laughter, too!

  67. My mum has been such a rock for me and my three brothers and that's what I love the most. She has battled to keep a home for us despite huge financial burdens and even used her own money to continually fly us to see our dying father despite having an estranged relationship with him herself. There is nothing she wouldn't do for us, and I love her so much for that constant support.

  68. My mother has recently cleaned up at the World Masters Games and makes a damned-fine tarragon chicken. She's a pocket-rocket and a wordsmith, an unconditional supporter and a gifted runner. She loves a good Chardonnay, and tells a wonderful bedtime story. She's green-fingered, and surprisingly tenacious. She's a woman of grit, grace and generosity. She has raised two incredibly-different, uniquely-challenging children. Her Dutch apple cake with whipped cream is a thing of beauty. She makes people feel loved, and is the lynchpin of many a social circle. She's the person you want to talk to at parties: glossy-eyed and ebullient and sparkling. I'm proud to call her my mother, and she deserves a clutch of winter niceties.

    1. Congratulations kaitie87 – you have won one of the beautiful Le Creuest oval dishes! Please email me your address details to fr************@ic****.com and I will arrange for it to be sent as soon as possible. Happy Mother's Day! :)xx

  69. My mum is so giving of her time and love, she's so selfless and is always putting others before her! I would love to win this for her to show her she's appreciated and perhaps I could even make her a meal in there!! We LOVE Le Crueset

  70. Judith van Boxel

    My remarkable mum is nearly 93 years old and still lives on her own in our family home on the farm. She has always been an excellent cook making all our meals, preserves, baking for as long as I can remember. When I was about 11 years old she was so excited to get via dad and large hints a le crueset bright orang/rede casserole dish. It was such a pride and joy to her. Money was never frittered away in our household and the dish was a prized possession. I hope that she will pass it on to me eventually but at the moment nearly 50 years later it is still going strong as is she.

  71. Gosh – where do I start. My darling mum is my source of inspiration. She's a powerhouse who moves through life with love, kindness and fearlessness. She has faced so many challenges yet she deals with everything with dignity and compassion, and she never puts herself first. Such a remarkable role model and a wonderful mum…I am one very lucky daughter.

  72. My mum sadly passed away six years ago but she left me with so much ! Mum was an amazing cook , self taught but inspired by my dads french family , she passed on her joys of cooking to us. Mum taught us to always do our very best and without a doubt mum was an inspiring example . Happy Mother's Day Mum you continue to inspire us daily !

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