Pan-Seared Chicken with Fennel and Tomato Confit

January 9, 2008 at 4:36 am Leave a comment

I’ve never been much for fennel. Recently, however, I have been changed my tune. The French and the Belgians use fennel much to their advantage in many dishes. The sweet licorice taste mellows with cooking and adds a delicate flavor to food. In a recent cooking class at L’Ateliers des Chefs, I learned how to make this very simple dish. It’s perfect for weeknight cooking as it takes very little preparation and can be made in less than 30 minutes. This is my variation on the recipe we learned in class.

Pan-Seared Chicken with Fennel and Tomato Confit
6 chicken breasts with skin
½ c. water
½ c. dry white wine
2-4 Tbs. olive oil
3 fennel bulbs
3 scallions
3 shallots
½ c. tomato confit (preserved tomatoes)
1 T. honey
Sprigs of thyme
Caramelized balsamic vinegar (can be purchased or reduced with sugar in a pan)
Fresh ground pepper
Maldon salt (it’s the best sea salt I’ve tried. You can use regular sea salt if you wish)

To Make:
Wash all of the vegetables. Slice the fennel in half lengthwise. Mince the fennel to obtain fine slices. Cut the scallions in half and thinly slice. Mince the shallots finely.
In a pan, put 1-2 Tbs. of olive oil and place the chicken breasts skin side down in the pan. Season with salt and let them cook at high heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and add ½ c. water and ½ c. dry white wine to de-glaze the pan. Place the chicken back into the pan and cover with aluminum foil to keep in the steam. Let cook on low heat for 8 – 10 minutes.
In a separate pan or wok, add 1-2 Tbs. of olive oil and the fennel. Lightly season with fine salt. Stir fry until fennel is transparent (about 4-5 minutes) and add the scallions. Stir fry 2- 3 minutes longer. Add 1 T. honey and stir. Add the onions and tomatoes when the fennel is thoroughly cooked and heated through.
Dress the plate with caramelized balsamic vinegar, add the vegetables and top with the chicken breasts. Finish with a sprig of thyme, fresh ground pepper and Maldon salt.

6 servings


Entry filed under: Chicken, main-meals. Tags: , , , , .

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