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
Total Time: 30 to 40 minutes
Free of the Top Eight Allergies
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Next, add the fennel slices into the pan, stir to cover the fennel slices in the fat and oil over medium heat.
- While the fennel is cooking, mince the garlic and toss into the skillet Now, add in the chili powder.
- 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.
- 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!
- To serve, make sure to top with that almond dust!
All the Best,
The Brecheisen Batch
*Recipe adapted from Melissa Joulwan in the Gluten Free & More