Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fennel-Braised Chicken Legs

I love Autumn weather as it inspires weekend after weekend of slow-cooked, satisfying foods in my kitchen. I have been braising things left and right, but as there has been a lot of red meat lately, I tried to lighten it up with some chicken this time around.
Sadly, I didn't find this (Michael Symon recipe) to be the most enjoyable dish as the fennel flavor was a little too pronounced for my taste, but if you are a fan, try this out.

Start by browning your seasoned chicken legs in a large heavy-bottom pan with a bit of olive oil. When crisp and easy to lift, remove and set aside.

The other goodies: one whole fennel bulb, one medium onion, four cloves of garlic, fresh thyme, potatoes, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and one orange.
Chop the fennel, onion, and potatoes into large wedges.
Add the fennel and some of the onion to the pan drippings and allow to brown.

Add the potatoes, garlic, any remaining onion, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Season with salt.
Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of white wine, scraping up the tasty brown bits with a wooden spoon.
Then add the chicken back into the pan on top of the veggies and add chicken stock until almost halfway up the sides of the legs.

Add the bay leaf and a few more sprigs of thyme, place the lid on top and place into a 350º oven for 35-45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken to plate and add the zest and juice of the orange to the pot for a bit of brightness.
 Reduce the drippings until thickened as desired and pour over the chicken and vegetables.

Tho the chicken was tender, I found the flavors in this a bit thin in general. To combat this next time, while reducing the liquids I would add a bit of chicken glacé to make a richer sauce, and definitely use stock instead of the suggested water for the braise. I love braising chicken in cider, whether apple or pear, as it adds a sweetness to the meat once cooked. Water does nothing to help flavor chicken.
While I really like Michael Symon (his giggle kills me!) and I want to like fennel, this did not succeed in winning me over.
If you try this and come up with something delicious, pass along your tips!

1 comment:

Melissa's Espresso Shot said...

I'm not a big fennel fan myself but this sure does look good!