Wednesday, September 4, 2013

smoky braised chicken and fennel

I went out on a limb when I tried this recipe (sort of).  I don't care for fennel seeds so I have never cooked fennel.  I really wasn't sure I would like this recipe at all except the photo in Real Simple magazine was to-die-for (see above) and Real Simple recipes have never ever failed me.  They're always exceptional.  So I went for it.  I left out the fennel seeds because I bought whole seeds and not crushed seeds.  But I bought fennel seeds.  That's faith. 
This is what we're having for dinner tonight and it smells divine.  I'd show you what my smoky braised chicken looks like but it doesn't look as pretty as in the magazine.  Mine lacks the extra sauce but the flavor is nothing short of delicious and I can't wait for dinner tonight.  It's ready and I'm ready but I should probably not serve dinner at 4pm.  The next hour to hour and a half could be torture.  Maybe I should spend my time figuring out how to get a nice sauce to go with my chicken, fennel and rice.

smoky braised chicken and fennel (adapted from Real Simple, September 2013)
3 very large chicken breasts, cut in half (RS uses chicken thighs)
3 small fennel bulbs, cut into wedges plus 2 tablespoons fennel fronds
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup long-grain brown rice (I used brown jasmine)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
kosher salt and black pepper
salad, for serving

Brown the chicken in 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet until golden, 3 to 4 minutes per side.  All to the slow cooker with the fennel bulbs, broth, rice, onion, paprika, fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Cook and cover until the chicken and fennel are tender on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.  Sprinkle with fennel fronds.  Serve with salad.

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