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Braised Chicken with Layered Fennel

Braised chicken with layered fennel

Braised chicken with layered fennel

Usually my cooking inspiration and decisions are driven by what I have to hand and while that depends on the season I have to confess my obsessive food reading also plays a part.

I’m currently exploring the cookbooks in my local library. I love being able to trying out a book before committing money and bookshelf space to ownership, it helps keep my personal collection relevant. I recently borrowed “A Bird in the Hand” by Diane Henry, an English writer I confess to knowing little about.

“A Bird In The hand” is both tempting and inspirational, even though every single recipe is for cooking chicken. Her recipes are eclectic and her influences multicultural but it’s a practical book nonetheless.

A valuable feature of Henry’s book is the large number of recipes can be quickly prepared as quick week night dinners. Because of my current home camp kitchen arrangement limiting me to a one pot stovetop chicken meal, I decided rather than use one the recipes from the book, I’d use my passion for braised fennel as the partner for my chicken.

Fennel bulbs still sporting their feathery green tops always tempt me, their subtle sweet aniseed flavour makes them a great accompaniment, especially if  a little cream is involved. I added ground roasted fennel seed and a slosh of Pernod to add layers of complexity to the fennel flavour as it does tend to be elusive.

The chicken was delicious, it far exceeded my expectations. An 8 year old bottle of riesling from the Clare Valley was the perfect match.

Once I’ve moved into my new kitchen, I’ll begin cooking from my newly acquired copy of Henry’s book.

Braised Chicken and Potatoes with Layered Fennel

1 X large organic chicken, portioned on the bone into 8 pieces

1 1/2 heaped teaspoons fennel seed, toasted and ground

2 teaspoons thyme leaves

2 tablespoons rice flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 small bulbs of fresh fennel, trimmed and cut into 5mm wedges

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons Pernod

1/4 cup light cream

2 medium sized waxy potatoes (I used desiree), cut into bite sized pieces

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

garnish:

2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

green fennel fronds, roughly chopped

Combine the rice flour, thyme and ground fennel seed in a paper bag.

Add the chicken pieces and give the bag a good shake to coat the chicken in the seasonings.

Heat the oil in an heavy based pan then brown the chicken until golden all over.

Set the chicken aside.

Add the fennel to the pan then saute over a medium heat until it wilts and begins to colour.

Deglaze the pan with the Pernod, then add the cream and chicken stock.

Bring the mixture to the boil, add the potatoes then return the chicken and any juices to the pan.

Cover tightly and simmer over a low heat until the chicken is cooked, about 40 minutes.

Taste the sauce and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.

Serve garnished with toasted pine nuts and roughly chopped green fennel fronds.

Delicious served with parsnip puree.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

21 comments on “Braised Chicken with Layered Fennel

  1. Nancy |Plus Ate Six
    June 1, 2016

    Fennel on fennel and then cream? I put fennel in a salad last night and Rich was came into the kitchen and was picking the fennel slices out so he will love this dish. Love the name of the book too.

    Like

  2. Linda Duffin
    May 18, 2016

    That looks delicious, lovely flavour combinations. I’d eat that at any time of the year. Diana Henry’s chicken book is great, isn’t it? She’s such a good writer.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 18, 2016

      I can’t believe Henry doesn’t have a presence in Australia. I’m loving the chicken book a lot. Everything has been delicious

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Duffin
        May 18, 2016

        Have you seen her earlier one, Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons? It’s my favourite (and hers, apparently).

        Liked by 1 person

      • ladyredspecs
        May 18, 2016

        I’ve reserved it from the library, just waiting. You’ve raised my expectations ….

        Liked by 1 person

  3. StefanGourmet
    May 18, 2016

    I love braised fennel, although I like to braise it for hours. Great idea to serve this with parsnip puree.

    Like

  4. Karen
    May 18, 2016

    I love the flavor of fennel and really like the sound of this chicken dish.

    Like

  5. chefceaser
    May 15, 2016

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser and commented:
    Use Kosher Chicken and Chicken Stock

    Like

  6. Michelle
    May 13, 2016

    A librarian’s daughter, but I often forget how wonderful libraries are. In my early married life, when we lived just a block or so away from a public library, I constantly checked out books and even (good lord, the thought of it!) would handwrite recipes I liked. I’ve read lots of raves about Henry’s book. Now I know I must search it out.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 13, 2016

      I have reserved another of Henry’s books, loving ” A Bird In the Hand,” and the local library

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Eha
    May 12, 2016

    Well, all I have to get is the Pernod: one of my friends has been asking for it anyway 🙂 ! Looking at Ardys’ comment as I type: yes, you ‘had’ me at fennel also and tho’ I hardly ever use cream, there is but little in the recipe and it is necessary 🙂 !

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 12, 2016

      You could use ouzo or raki, though I would draw the line at sambucca, just a bit too sweet. The cream makes the fennel just right in my opinion

      Like

  8. Gather and Graze
    May 12, 2016

    The flavour of this dish must be amazing Sandra. I’m always up for new mid-week chicken dishes – will try this one for sure!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 12, 2016

      The flavour was much better than I expected. I’m of the opinion you can’t have too many chicken dishes in your repetoire xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso
    May 12, 2016

    I’m such a big fan of fennel in any form. Looks delicious!

    Like

  10. Lisa @ cheergerm
    May 11, 2016

    This looks tempting and delicious. I know zip/nada about Diane Henry as well but really like the idea of a whole book of good chicken recipes. Fennel is one of my faves.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 12, 2016

      Thanks Cheery. Fennel fans unite! I’ll start to cook from Henry’s book once the kitchen is recommissioned, soon. It looks a beauty…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. ardysez
    May 11, 2016

    You had me at fennel. Cream sealed the deal. Sounds delicious, thank you Sandra.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 12, 2016

      Thanks Ardys, we really enjoyed this, so glad the weather is finally cooling down and braises are back on the menu

      Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on May 11, 2016 by in Chicken dishes, FODMAP diet, Food, Gluten Free, Main Meals and tagged , , , , , , .
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