Thursday, January 29, 2009

chicken with fennel and thyme

this is a simple but elegant winter dish. earthy and comforting without the comfort-food fat. 

2 chicken breasts, with skin & bone-in
1 fennel bulb, sliced lengthwise (remove tops)
1 med onion, quartered &  sliced 
3 cloves garlic, smashed
5 sprigs thyme, little less if dry
1/4 c. olive oil
splash of white wine (1/4 c.)
salt & pepper

Heat oil on low in a pan & add fennel, onion and garlic. Simmer 20 minutes on very low heat. Meanwhile, rinse chicken, pat dry; salt & pepper both sides generously. When the fennel-onion is soft and lightly browned, take out and set aside. In the same pan, add a dash more oil, crumble thyme into it, and turn heat to med-high. When oil is hot, add chicken, skin side down. Cook 5 minutes, adding a splash of wine if you like. Turn and cook 4-5 minutes more. At this point, i usually flip the breasts once more so the skin turns a nice golden color and i can check from the underside if it is cooked (if it is moist but juices are clear, not pink, it's perfect.) Place on top of a bed of fennel. Serve.

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