I have “met” or gotten reacquainted with so many great cooks and bakers on Twitter. Having them accessible to ask questions is invaluable! There is a group who chooses a different chef every month and you make one of their recipes and take a photo to have as your profile picture. I decided to join in because it would allow me to change up my profile picture monthly and be exposed to chefs I did not know or wouldn’t choose a recipe from.
This month’s chef is Thomas Keller, an American chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer. His most recent book Ad Hoc at Home is what I picked up from the library. It has so many beautiful pictures and tasty recipes in it. I chose the Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives, Lemon, and Fennel. I have never cooked with fennel so I knew it would be a learning experience. The recipe was quicker to put together than I thought. I adapted it so it would be just enough for the both of us to eat over a couple of days. I did need
to add some cooking time to my chicken because it wasn’t quite done all the way through from following the recipe. I thought the chicken was flavorful and I found out that Mr. G doesn’t eat olives. I think I learn something new about him at least once a month. I hope to make at least one more recipe from this book before I return it to the library.
Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Olives, Lemon, & Fennel
Adapted from Ad Hoc at Home I
2 large fennel bulbs
6 chicken thighs
1/2 cup onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 Tbsp. garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. dry white wine
1/2 cup large green olive (Ascolane or Cerignola)
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 dried bay leaf
2 strips lemon zest
4 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1. Cut off the fennel stalks. Trim the bottom of the bulbs and peel; back the layers until you reach the core. Discard any bruised layers, and cut fennel in to 2×1/2″ batons.
2. Preheat the oven to 375º. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet.
3. Season the chicken thighs with salt on both sides. Heat oil in a large ovenproof pan that will hold all the thighs in one layer over medium-highheat. Add thighs skin side down and brown, about 6 minutes. Turn the thighs over and cook for about 2 minutes to sear the meat. Transfer to cooling rack.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion to the pan; cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 5-6 additional minutes, until onion is translucent and stirring often. Stir in the fennel, turn the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often until fennel is crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
5. Pour wine into the pan and simmer for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Stir in the olives, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, lemon zest, and thyme. Pour in the chicken stock. Increase the heat, bringing the liquid to a simmer, an cook until the fennel is tender, about 1 minute. Season stock as needed.
6. Return chicken to pan skin side up in a single layer. When the liquid returns to a simmer, transfer to the oven and cook for about 20-30 minutes, until it is cooked thoroughly.
7. Turn on the broiler, and put the pan under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to crisp and brown the chicken skin.