Braised Chicken Thighs With Caramelized Fennel & Leeks
- Ready In:
- 3⁄4 lb boneless chicken thighs
- 3 large fennel bulbs
- 2 large leeks
- 1⁄2 onion
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Pernod
- 8 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Trim fennel bulbs, and set aside fronds. In a blender or food processor, pulse about 1/2 cup fronds, garlic, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt until finely chopped. Add 1/3 cup oil and purée.
- Halve fennel bulbs lengthwise. Slice thinly with a mandoline or very sharp knife.
- clean and thinly slice leaks.
- Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Brown chicken until skin is crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving drippings in pan.
- Stir fennel seeds into skillet and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sliced fennel, leeks and onion, seasoning with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Add Pernod and scrape up any browned bits in the bottom of the skillet; cook until liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute.
- Lay chicken on top of the fennel-onion mixture. Pour 3 tablespoons water into the pan. Cover skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until chicken is just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover and cook off any excess liquid if necessary. Stir in lemon juice.
- Serve chicken and vegetables topped with generous dollops of the fennel frond purée.
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RECIPE SUBMITTED BY
Started washing dishes in restaurants (the Moose Lodge to be precise) at 13. Worked at a bunch of Long Island restaurants from 14 to 18, did salad prep, sous, breakfasts, line, short order and whatever role was open. Loved it, and kept cooking when I went into the Army at 18. By 22, stopped cooking for work, but still cook at home a lot. Now, I actually think I am a better cook than ever, and have even considered opening my own restaurant some day.