Lemony Chicken with Garlic & Fennel

HELLO!

It is springtime! In my corner of Kansas, you can definitely and absolutely tell that it is. Nature is starting to bloom in its array of stunning colors – purples, yellows, oranges, and an assortment of mixes!  It’s not simply on the ground, but in the flowering trees as well. On our lane, particularly, has a nice number of this stunning tree that blooms these purple flowers. For me, that is natural magic! It is simply dream-like.

This season of spring is particularly particular! One day it can be a tinged with humidity, while hovering in the high eighties, and the very next day it can be chilled in the forties! The weather is happily being a yo-yo and confusing its residence – both human and nature!

The weather rather reminds me of the recipe for today! Mr. B can be quite a random and finicky eater. Luckily, he is also willing to eat whatever I put in front of him, sometimes, with great encouraging – and sometimes with disastrous ends for the both of us. Not every recipe is a success in this household!

Therefore, when I told Mr. B that this recipe was going to introduce a new ingredient for him; he was more than hesitant, especially when he heard that it was fennel. He never had fennel before, but he heard that it has a licorice taste. My husband, again, bless his finicky heart,  only enjoys the flavor of licorice in very specific forms. I tried to assure him that it the flavor was much more complicated, and so much more delightful, than what he heard. I love the fennel bulb; I love that light, crisp, slightly sweet, but anise-y flavor that it has. It partially reminds me between a mix of a shallot and an onion. Yes, the feathery top of fennel smells strongly of licorice,  which I personally love, but that strong aroma does not necessarily transfer to the taste of its bulb entirely.

So, with much encouraging, Mr. B gave this recipe a try – and much to our delight, he loved  the recipe! He loves fennel! He was shocked and surprised, but was devouring the meal – and could not stop himself from getting more! Now, that, I call a success!

LEMONY CHICKEN WITH GARLIC & FENNEL

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Serves: 4

Total Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Free of the Top Eight Allergies

INGREDIENTS

  • FOR THE ALMOND TOPPING:
    • 2 tsp of Earth Balance Soy-Free Butter (or butter)
    • 3 tbsp of almond flour
    • 1/2 tsp of sea salt.
  • FOR THE CHICKEN:
    • 1 1/2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs*; cut into 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide strips
    • 1 tsp of sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
    • 2 tsp of extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 large fennel bulbs; cut into thin slices
    • 2 to 4 cloves of garlic; minced
    • 1 tsp of chili powder
    • The juice of 1/2 a lemon.

*Any chicken cuts that are boneless and skinless can work for this recipe.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. To make the almond topping for the meal, warm the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat till melted.  Add almond flour with the pinch of salt.  Stir to prevent burning. When the almond flour starts to become fragrant, toasty, and forming a dust, transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Prep the fennel by removing the fronds.  Remove the tough outer layers of the fennel bulb and rinse well. Pat dry thoroughly once rinsed. Cut the bulb into thin slices.
  3. For the chicken, slice the chicken thighs into 1/4 inch wide stripes and season them with the salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, warm the 2 tsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and stir to coat the chicken well in the olive oil, then spread in a single layer and let cook for approximately 3 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Continue to flip and stir until the chicken is cooked and browned for an additional 6 more minutes or so.
  4. Once the chicken is browned, transfer onto a plate.  There should be some fat and oil left from cooking the chicken. If not, add a little bit more olive oil.
  5. Next, add the fennel slices into the pan, stir to cover the fennel slices in the fat and oil over medium heat.
  6. While the fennel is cooking, mince the garlic and toss into the skillet  Now, add in the chili powder.
  7. Begin to stir-fry the fennel, garlic, and chili powder together in the skillet until the fennel is softened, slightly translucent, and a bit browned.
  8. Once the fennel reaches that state, add the chicken back into the skillet. Stir to combine everything and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes letting all become deliciously caramelized. Remove from heat and squeeze in that fresh lemon juice. Stir once and serve up!
  9. To serve, make sure to top with that almond dust!

ENJOY! 

All the Best,

The Brecheisen Batch

*Recipe adapted from Melissa Joulwan in the Gluten Free & More

2 thoughts on “Lemony Chicken with Garlic & Fennel

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