Thursday, October 15, 2009
Baked chicken with fennel
More poultry recipes? Well yes. I'm broke and chicken was on sale for a while, so now I'm living off what's in the freezer. I grew up in a family were poultry never ranked very high. To this day, every November, my dad asks full hope:
"Can we have ham for Thanksgiving?"
To which I reply:
"Absolutely not. Americans have turkey for Thanksgiving and we are going to follow the tradition!"
"But we are Italian..." Nice try. That's the only occasion when he conveniently forgets that we have both passports.
Anyways. Needless to say my mom never made chicken when I was a kid, with two exceptions: her famous and delicious chicken curry and her Sunday toasted chicken.
So I find it amusing that nowadays I cook chicken several times a week and that I actually enjoy eating it. When it comes to chicken I was a late bloomer (I was late bloomer for many other things, culinary and not, but that's another story). I started exploring chicken recipes when I was 22, living on my own for the first time -no parents, no roommates, no boyfriends. At the time I owned one cookbook, a hard cover binding copy of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, the red and white checkered one. I flipped through it from cover to cover and found out that chicken can be made in a million different ways, many of which only include my favorite part of the bird: the breast. It was all downhill from there. Once I started I couldn't stop and seven years and 130 cookbooks later I still cook chicken like it's my job. This one, inspired by a Weight Watchers recipe, is really simple to make and it has a wonderful fennel flavor -granted that you like fennel of course.
BAKED CHICKEN WITH FENNEL
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt to taste
Crushed red pepper to taste
1 red onion, sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
Preheat oven to 425F.
Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and crushed red pepper to taste. Place sliced onion and fennel on the bottom of a pyrex or roasting pan, place chicken on top, add wine and broth and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from pan and shred or cut into slices. Set aside. Keep cooking the vegetables for about 30 minutes more. Put chicken back in the pan and cook for 5 more minutes. Drizzle with a little olive oil if you like.