I realized that I could probably count the number of times I had cooked with fennel on one finger. That needed to change. I looked through various cookbooks for a nice recipe and really came up short. I then looked around online for a nice fennel puree and realized that would go better with fish and I was going to cook chicken. I finally came across a New York Times article/recipe which looked straight forward and delicious.
The recipe was for chicken breasts with fennel and lemon in white wine and chicken stock reduction, and a couple of egg yolks to add a bit of creaminess. As I do quite often, I had to use the same recipe to cook up some tofu as well. Turned out very well, but Id recommend adding a bit extra stock and white wine for a bit more sauce.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt to taste
2 Tbl olive oil
1 large fennel bulb (i used 2), sliced lengthwise and into strips
1 1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1 extra firm brick of tofu, sliced
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
Zest lemon and slice zest into matchsticks. Juice lemon, strain and reserve.
Lightly sprinkle chicken with salt. Put deep frying pan over medium-high heat, pour in oil and gently sauté chicken breasts, about two minutes per side, until they are about half-cooked. Remove from pan.
Pour off oil and discard, then add fennel, wine and lemon zest to pan. Bring to boil over high heat and cook until wine is reduced by about half and fennel is tender. Add broth and cinnamon, bring to boil and cook about 5 minutes to reduce sauce a bit.
For Tofu, before you proceed to the next step, heat a pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil and add a bit of the sauce from the main pan and add the tofu, cut into slices. Sear each side then add an additional 1/4 cup of chicken stock and a little wine in order to obtain a bit more cooking liquid. Cook until chicken is ready.
Add chicken with its juices and cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat egg yolks with half the juice (about 1 tablespoon), then ladle in about 1/4 cup of sauce. Mix well, then add to pan, mixing well. Cook over medium heat, stirring a bit, until sauce appears creamy. Taste and add more juice, if you like.
2 lbs baby red potatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbl olive oil
Pre heat oven to 375.
Boil potatoes for about 4-6 minutes, until tender. Place on pan and top with oil. Coat potatoes and top with salt and pepper. Cook for about 35-40 minutes or until skin begins to crack.