Tag Archives: fennel

Rustic Sausage and Fennel Meatloaf with Gravy

A few years back, Fine Cooking published an article showcasing a variety of meatloaf recipes. It also instructed how to build your own loaf based on items from specific categories. From those, I made this rustic version, which is a blend of the two. It was surprisingly light and not dense as some meatloaves can be.

We also wanted a gravy, so, in lieu of a loaf pan, we cooked the meatloaf in a large, heated cast-iron skillet to facilitate browning on the bottom as well as the top and sides. When finished cooking, this provided some tasty drippings for the base of the gravy.

Of course, since this serves up to eight meals, we sliced one half for two separate dinners, freezing the other half for another time.

Rustic Sausage and Fennel Meatloaf with Gravy

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. canola or olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1/2 small fennel bulb, core removed and chopped small (save some fronds for garnish, if desired)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 oz. medium-coarse white bread, such as Italian or French, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 lb. bulk sweet sausage
  • 2/3 lb. ground beef
  • 2/3 lb. ground veal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Gravy

  • Pan drippings from meatloaf
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 cups beef broth, heated
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. thyme, minced
  • 6 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion, fennel and garlic, stirring frequently, until softened and just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the white wine, and simmer briskly, until almost dry, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool until warm.
  • In a shallow dish that holds it in a single layer, soak the bread in the milk, flipping once, until soggy but not falling apart, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the coarseness and freshness of the bread. Lightly squeeze a handful of bread at a time to remove some of the milk (it should be wet but not drenched). Finely chop and add to the bowl with the onion mixture.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Add the beef, veal, and sausage and eggs to the onion mixture. Scatter the Parmigiano, and parsley over the meat, and then sprinkle with the Worcestershire, 2-1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Use your hands to gently mix all the ingredients until just combined; try not to compact the mixture as you do this.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Form a rectangular block from the meatloaf mixture that will fit into your skillet. Carefully transfer the meatloaf into the hot skillet and put the skillet into the preheated oven. Bake until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F in the center of the meatloaf, 40 to 55 minutes. (Ours was done at 45 minutes.) Remove the meatloaf to a platter and cover with foil while you make the gravy.
  • Add enough butter to the pan drippings to equal 6 tablespoons. (We had 2 tablespoons in the pan so we added 4 tablespoons of butter.) Sauté the minced shallot in the fat and drippings until it softens.
  • Add garlic and thyme and sauté another 30 seconds.
  • Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in hot broth and Worcestershire sauce. Scrape up any browned bits and smooth out lumps.
  • Simmer gravy 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Arrange 1-inch slabs of meatloaf on the platter, top with gravy. Serve extra gravy at the dinner table.
Serve with mashed potatoes and a side veg.

http://www.lynnandruss.com

Loosely adapted from a recipe by Allison Ehri Kreitler for Fine Cooking

Cheesy and Creamy Fennel Gratin

Hands down, one of our most favorite side dishes ever! American chef and cookbook author David Tanis‘ homey but sophisticated Cheesy and Creamy Fennel Gratin casserole, incorporates fresh mozzarella, fennel seed, garlic, crushed red pepper and rosemary, plus a hearty glug of olive oil to help the flavors meld in the oven.

To avoid stringy and tough cooked fennel, David explains in his latest book, “David Tanis Market Cooking,” to blanch the fennel for a few minutes, drain, then run under cold water, a process that just barely tenderizes the fennel slices. The result, after baking, strikes the ideal balance between toothsome bite and jammy caramelized onion.

Since many supermarket mozzarellas lack the creaminess of harder-to-find fresh, Milk Street (where we found this recipe) opts for a blend of shredded fontina and provolone. And mixing Parmesan into panko breadcrumbs creates a solid crust that contrasts with the tender fennel beneath. Finally, a sprinkle of fresh parsley adds a pop of color and grassy notes to balance the cheese. This simple combination elevates the dish into something much more than the sum of its parts, and was a perfect compliment to our rack of lamb entrée.

Important: Don’t use a baking dish or pan that is not broiler safe. After baking, the gratin spends a couple minutes under the broiler to brown the topping, so be sure the vessel can withstand the intense heat.

Cheesy and Creamy Fennel Gratin

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 medium fennel bulbs (about 2½ lbs. total), halved lengthwise, cored and sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 oz. Parmesan cheese, finely grated (¾ cup)
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz. fontina cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 4 oz. provolone cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the upper-middle position.
  2. In a large pot, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add the fennel and 1 tablespoon salt, then cook for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under running cold water until cool to the touch. Shake the colander to remove as much water as possible, then lay the slices out on a kitchen towel and thoroughly pat them dry.
  3. In a 9-by-13-inch broiler-safe baking dish, toss together the fennel, oil, rosemary, fennel seeds, pepper flakes and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper; distribute in an even layer.
  4. Roast until beginning to brown and a skewer inserted into the fennel meets no resistance, 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the Parmesan, panko and garlic.
  6. Remove the baking dish from the oven and turn on the broiler. Evenly distribute the fontina and provolone over the top of the fennel, then sprinkle on the Parmesan-panko mixture.
  7. Broil until the top is nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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Adapted by Calvin Cox for Milk Street

Fennel-Steamed Salmon with Warm Olive and Caper Vinaigrette

While we know salmon isn’t a Mediterranean fish, this recipe riff from “Patricia Wells at Home in Provence,” uses high-impact Provençal ingredients which are an ideal match for the rich, meaty fillets. Here, steamed fish sits atop a bed of sliced fennel to add sweet, licorice-like perfume; after cooking, the tender-crisp slices make a delicious accompaniment.

The sharp flavors of the warm olive, caper and lemon vinaigrette complement both fish and fennel. Cook the salmon to medium doneness—that is, until only the center is translucent. For well-done fillets, steam the fish for a couple minutes longer than indicated.

If you prefer white fish over salmon, thick fillets of striped bass or sea bass work well, but increase the steaming time to about 10 minutes. No matter the type of fish you choose, try to select fillets of equal thickness so they cook at the same rate.

Don’t uncover the pot while the fish is steaming, as loss of steam will slow the cooking. Instead, simply set a timer (or tell Alexa to remind you 😉 ). Note to the wise: When opening the pot, angle the lid away from you to avoid a burst of steam to the face.

We chose broccoli rabe as the other side dish. By par-boiling it first, much of the bitterness is eradicated. Once chilled in an ice bath and drained, any extra moisture is wrung out in a clean dish towel. A little garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes give it a boost of flavor when reheated in a pan.

Fennel-Steamed Salmon with Warm Olive and Caper Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 small fennel bulbs (about 1 lb. total), halved, cored and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest, plus ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 6-oz. salmon fillets, each about 1 inch thick
  • 6 sprigs dill, plus 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup drained capers
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the fennel with the lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper; set aside. Season the salmon all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Place a folding steamer basket in a large Dutch oven. Add enough water to fill the bottom of the pot without submerging the basket. Remove the basket. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high.
  3. Line the basket with the fennel. Place the salmon skin down on the fennel, then lay the dill sprigs on the fillets. Turn off the heat under the pot, then set the basket in it. Cover and return to a simmer over medium. Steam until the thickest parts of the fillets reach 115°F to 120°F (for medium doneness), 7 to 9 minutes; the fennel should be tender but not completely soft.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium, combine the olives, capers, oil and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, just until sizzling gently, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring, just until warm, another 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and set aside.
  6. When the salmon is done, remove and discard the dill sprigs. Using a metal spatula, transfer the fennel and fillets, skin down, to a serving platter. Sprinkle with the chopped dill, then spoon on the warm sauce.

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Adapted from a recipe found in Milk Street; original by “Patricia Wells at Home in Provence”

Brussels Sprouts and Spicy Fennel Sausage Pizza

Yes, you could just order a pizza and have it delivered, but how fun is that? Been there, done that, right—like at least 5,000 times? Why not throw one together at home for a change and exercise that creative muscle.

We first saw this version in a recent Fine Cooking Magazine article. Now I must admit, Brussels sprouts is not the first topping I think of, nor is it in even in the top ten! And why make the “sausage” yourself when you can buy it already flavored? Truth is, we like a culinary challenge. Plus, you can adjust the seasonings to suit your personal preferences.

It starts with the pizza dough which we bought at the supermarket, but go ahead and make one if you’re so inclined. The recipe calls for one pound, but ours weighed in at about 2/3 of a pound, which, because we prefer thin crust, was not an issue for us. We just knew we’d have to make a few adjustments.

What was bothering me, was putting the veggies slices on the pie without cooking them first. I knew there was no way they’d be tender enough in just a few short minutes in the oven. Therefore I had the brilliant idea to sauté them briefly in the hot sausage fat. Then I returned the cooked sausage to the veggies and kept them all warm while the crust got happy in the oven.

Verdict? It was real good! Now we won’t be so hesitant to think of Brussels sprouts as a pizza topping… Our changes are included in the directions below.

TIP: Sausage can be made ahead and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Make sure to rewarm it before topping the pizza.

Brussels Sprouts and Spicy Fennel Sausage Pizza

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. pizza dough
  • 12 oz. ground pork
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, very thinly sliced 
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F. Adjust oven rack to lowest position.
  2. Place dough on a well-oiled 17×13-inch baking pan or a 14-inch pizza pan. Press and stretch the dough to the edges of the pan. Let dough rest 5 minutes. If necessary, stretch dough again to cover pan. (This took me several attempts and at least 30 minutes to accomplish.)
  3. In a large bowl combine pork, fennel seeds, salt, and crushed red pepper. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drop 1/2-inch pieces of meat mixture into the hot skillet. Cook until meat is no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, trim bottoms from Brussels sprouts and remove any browned outer leaves. Thinly slice the sprouts.
  5. Remove sausage from skillet with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Add the Brussels sprouts and onion slices to the hot sausage fat. Cook for several minutes until they begin to soften. Place sausage back into skillet with the veggies, turn the heat to low and keep warm.
  6. Bake the pizza dough on lowest oven rack for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Remove crust from oven.
  7. Top with half the cheese, sausage, Brussels sprouts, onion, and garlic. Add the remaining cheese and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil. Bake 10 to 12 minutes more or until edges are crisp and toppings are browned, turning pan once to ensure even browning. (Because our crust was so thin, and the toppings were warm when we assembled the pie, our pizza only took 5 minutes.)
  8. If desired, drizzle with additional olive oil before serving.

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Loosely adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Fennel, Tomatoes, Artichokes, and Olives

Another one-pan wonder, and who doesn’t like that for ease of clean-up and prep? It works as well for company as it does for a weeknight dinner. According to ATK’s “Complete Mediterranean Cookbook”, cooking the tenderloins until buttery-smooth is key, and roasting them atop a bed of vegetables buffers the heat to ensure juicy meat all the way through, which is rubbed with herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper.

The Mediterranean seasoning inspired the selection of vegetables: sweet, delicately flavored fennel, earthy artichoke hearts (frozen, to keep things easy), and briny olives (which I doubled the quantity). After softening the fennel in the microwave, it was tossed with the other vegetables and olive oil, and the mixture was spread into the roasting pan (or rimmed baking sheet), placing the tenderloins on top.

The vegetables are nearly cooked when the pork is done, so remove the meat to a moated cutting board and tent with foil. To the cooked veggies, add in juicy halved cherry tomatoes and lemon zest, and let them finish in the oven. After 10 minutes, the fennel should be tender, the tomatoes softened and releasing their juices.

NOTE: If using frozen artichoke hearts, be sure to thoroughly thaw and pat them dry; otherwise their moisture will inhibit the browning of the roasted vegetables.

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Fennel, Tomatoes, Artichokes, and Olives

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • (12- to 16-oz.) pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • 2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, stalks discarded, bulbs halved, cored, and cut into ½-inch-thick strips
  • 12 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 18 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with herbes de Provence, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Combine fennel and 2 tablespoons water in bowl, cover, and microwave until softened, about 5 minutes; drain well. Toss drained fennel, artichokes, olives, and oil together in bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread vegetables into 16 by 12-inch roasting pan and lay pork on top, tucking under the thin part of the tail. Roast until pork registers 140 to 145 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes, turning tenderloins over halfway through roasting.
  4. Remove pan from oven. Transfer pork to cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir cherry tomatoes and lemon zest into vegetables and continue to roast until fennel is tender and tomatoes have softened, about 10 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from oven. Stir parsley into roasted vegetables. Slice pork into ½-inch-thick slices, and arrange vegetables and sliced pork on a platter, pouring any accumulated meat juices back over the plated pork and vegetables.

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Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen

Roasted Fish and Fennel with Grapefruit Salsa

Looking for a vibrant fish dinner combination? This Roasted Fish and Fennel with Grapefruit Salsa from Better Homes & Gardens caught our attention immediately. And if you lean toward low-carb, keto-friendly dishes, you may want to put this meal in your rotation.

Choose a firm whitefish option like cod, grouper, or hake. These varieties hold up well to oven-roasting—and topping with a tangy, refreshing fruit salsa. Our original intention was to purchase hake, but the local supermarket didn’t have it and we were to lazy to drive to the other side of town to the Asian fish market and get it, so cod it was.

The recipe calls for four fish fillets, but with only the two of us at the dinner table, we simply bought a one-pounder fillet and split it. As far as the fennel, once roasted, it not only dissipates the licorice flavor (which deters some people from eating it), but it takes on a subtle, sweet flavor, which makes a great counterpoint to the grapefruit salsa.

Roasted Fish and Fennel with Grapefruit Salsa

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, halved, cored, and cut into thin wedges, plus 2 Tbsp. chopped fronds
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided 
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1-inch thick firm white fish fillets, such as cod, grouper, or hake
  • 1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
  • 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped shallot
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a shallow baking pan with foil. Add fennel wedges. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt. Arrange in a single layer. Roast 12 to 15 minutes or until starting to brown.
  2. Turn fennel and push to sides. Add fish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine chopped fennel fronds, grapefruit, parsley, shallot, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and black pepper. Serve fish with roasted fennel and the salsa.

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Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

Mediterranean-Inspired One Pan Wonder

Treat yourself like company with this Mediterranean-inspired Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Fennel, Tomatoes, Artichokes and Olives recipe. In less than an hour, this one pan wonder works well for a weeknight dinner. It’s a mash-up from America’s Test Kitchen and Molly Stevens cookbooks. The revised recipe noted below serves six, but we halved it for just the two of us.

Cooking the tenderloins until buttery-smooth is key, and roasting them atop a bed of vegetables buffers the heat to ensure juicy meat all the way through. Rather than searing the meat, it is rubbed with a spice mixture. The Mediterranean seasoning inspires the selection of vegetables: sweet, delicately flavored fennel, earthy artichoke hearts, and briny olives.

After softening the fennel in the microwave, toss it with the other vegetables and olive oil, and spread the mixture into the roasting pan, placing the tenderloins on top. The vegetables are nearly cooked when the pork was done, so remove the meat, add in juicy halved cherry tomatoes and orange zest, and let the vegetables finish in the oven while the meat rests.

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Fennel, Tomatoes, Artichokes and Olives

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • (12- to 16-oz.) pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • 1 Tbsp. grated orange zest, divided in 3
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, stalks discarded, bulbs halved, cored, and cut into ½-inch-thick strips
  • 12 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry; or 6 oz. jarred packed in brine
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 18 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450°. Pat pork dry with paper towels.
  2. In a small bowl, combine thyme, 2 teaspoons of the orange zest, cumin, pepper flakes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Combine thoroughly and rub all over both tenderloins.
  3. Combine fennel and 2 tablespoons water in bowl, cover, and microwave until softened, about 5 minutes; drain well. Toss drained fennel, artichokes, olives, and oil together in bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread vegetables into 16 by 12-inch roasting pan and lay pork on top. Roast until pork registers 140 to 145 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes, turning tenderloins over halfway through roasting.
  5. Remove pan from oven. Transfer pork to cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, stir cherry tomatoes and remaining teaspoon orange zest into vegetables and continue to roast until fennel is tender and tomatoes have softened, about 10 minutes more.
  7. Remove pan from oven. Stir parsley into roasted vegetables. Slice pork into ½-inch-thick slices and serve with vegetables.

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Butterflied Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Fennel, Rosemary and Orange

First order of business for this scrumptious recipe from Molly Stevens is to butterfly—aka spatchcockthe chicken (or have your butcher do it for you). A method we use often because the flattened bird cooks more evenly than a whole one, where the slower-cooking dark meat gets more heat exposure and the lighter breast meat remains protected at the center of the pan.

This recipe arrangement allows for a marvelous flavor exchange as the chicken bastes the fennel-orange-rosemary mix with savory juices, all while absorbing its sweet-citrusy-woodsy aromas. Just writing this is getting my juices flowing! And everything on just one pan, who doesn’t love that?!

If at all possible, try to get blood oranges, with their sweet, yet tart, exceedingly aromatic and juicy fruit. Along with their lovely, jewel-like red color, blood oranges tend to have a noticeable and delicious raspberry edge to their flavor.

With the potatoes around the perimeter of the baking sheet, they get the full brunt of the oven’s heat, producing brown crispy exteriors while maintaining creamy interiors. This approach to cooking a variety of elements all in one pan (with different handling) results in a complementary alliance of flavors and textures. A good bottle of wine would be the only other accompaniment needed…

Plan Ahead: For the best flavor and texture, season the chicken at least 4, and up to 24 hours in advance.

One follow up note, some of the fennel wedges were still not completely cooked through at the end. To solve this issue, first make the fennel wedges only 1/2″ thick, and then slice off some of the inner triangular core of the fennel, but leave enough to keep the wedges intact.

Butterflied Roast Chicken with Potatoes, Fennel, Rosemary and Orange

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepercorns
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika, smoked (pimentón) or regular, sweet or hot
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 4-lb. chicken, butterflied and patted dry
  • 2 large fennel bulbs (about 1 1/2 lbs. untrimmed)
  • 1 3/4 lbs. med. red or white potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 small blood (or navel) orange, scrubbed
  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO
  • 2 3- to 4-inch fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth

Directions

  1. Combine the coriander seeds and peppercorns in a mortar or spice grinder and coarsely grind. Transfer to a small cup and add the pimentón (paprika) and 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and stir to combine.
  2. Pat the chicken dry all over and sprinkle half of this mixture on the underside of the chicken, rubbing in so the spices adhere. Flip and rub the remainder of the bird, including legs and wings, with the spices. Set the chicken, skin side up, on a rimmed baking sheet or tray. Tuck the wingtips under the back of the chicken, and the thighs are not flopped outward. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 4, and up to 24 hours.
  3. When ready to roast, heat the oven to 400° (375° convection) with a rack near the middle. Let the chicken sit at room temperature while the oven heats.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the fennel into wedges just over 1-inch across at their widest. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch wedges.Cut the orange crosswise in half and set one half aside for juicing later. Cut the remaining half in half, and then crosswise into 1/4-inch quarter moon shapes.
  5. Place the fennel and orange slices in the center of a large heavy rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the potatoes off to one side. Drizzle the olive oil over everything and season with salt and pepper. Toss the fennel and oranges together to coat with oil and seasonings. Do the same with the potatoes but keep them separate.
  6. Spread out the vegetables in a single layer, grouping the fennel and orange toward the center and the potatoes around the perimeter—this will allow the chicken to protect the quicker-cooking fennel and oranges from burning, and ensure crisp brown potatoes.
  7. Place the rosemary sprigs on the fennel and squeeze the juice from the reserved orange half onto it.
  8. Place the chicken on the vegetables, skin side up. The potatoes should be fully exposed or poking out and the fennel mostly tucked under the bird. Pour the vermouth or the wine around the potatoes, avoiding the chicken.
  9. Roast, stirring the potatoes and rotating the pan about halfway through, until the chicken skin is crisp and well-browned in spots. The juices from the breast should run almost clear when you prick it with a knife. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thigh (without touching the bone) should register 170°, in 45 to 50 minutes.
  10. Remove chicken to a cutting board with trough to catch the juices, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Stir the vegetables, combining the fennel, potatoes and oranges and coating them with the pan drippings. If the fennel and potatoes are not tender, return them to the oven to finish roasting while the chicken rests.
  12. Halve the chicken by cutting straight down the center bone. Cut each whole leg away from each breast half and cut the legs into thighs and drumsticks. Cut each breast half crosswise in half, leaving the wing attached to the upper portion, creating 8 total pieces.
  13. Pour any carving juices over the vegetables and serve immediately.

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Recipe from from Molly Stevens cookbook “All About Dinner”

Roasted Fennel with Orange-Honey Dressing

Fennel is a love it or hate it vegetable because of the intense anise flavors. But roasting the bulbous veggie helps mellow the licorice notes and turns its fibrous texture luxuriously creamy. For this roasted fennel, Cook’s Illustrated (CI) began by cutting the bulbs into wedges, which had two benefits: It provided good surface area for browning, and the attached core kept the pieces intact.

Covering the pieces with foil for most of the cooking time allowed them to steam and turn creamy; then remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of roasting so that they can turn golden and deliciously caramelized. Toss the wedges with salted water before covering them, which provides moisture for steaming and helps get seasoning between the layers.

Arranging the pieces on the long sides of a rimmed baking sheet ensures that all the pieces get equal exposure to the heat and browned evenly. However, the original recipe did not specify what size rimmed baking sheet and we used the smaller quarter sheet pan instead of a half sheet pan. Because of that, we think it took much longer for the liquid to evaporate, thus much longer for the fennel wedges to brown. In fact, we even put them under the broiler at the end for a minute or so.

The tart dressing made with orange juice and honey is the perfect complement to the sweet fennel. WOW, we practically swooned when eating it! And it was a great side dish to complement our Sear Roasted Salmon entrée, but I changed the number of servings from 4-6 to 3-4; we almost finished it off between the two of us.

CI Note: Look for fennel bulbs that measure 3½ to 4 inches in diameter and weigh around 1 pound with the stalks (12 to 14 ounces without); trim the bases very lightly so that the bulbs remain intact.

Roasted Fennel with Orange-Honey Dressing

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed of stalks (but save some fronds for garnish), bases lightly trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp. fronds chopped coarse, stalks discarded
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp. pepper

Dressing

  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
  • ⅛ tsp. grated orange zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • Pinch kosher salt

Directions

  1. FOR THE FENNEL: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.
  2. Cut each fennel bulb lengthwise through core into 8 wedges (do not remove core). Whisk water and salt in large bowl until salt is dissolved. Add fennel wedges to bowl and toss gently to coat. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with pepper, and toss gently to coat.
  3. Arrange fennel wedges cut side down along 2 longer sides of prepared sheet. Drizzle any water in bowl evenly over fennel wedges. Cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the foil from the sheet and continue to roast until side of fennel touching the sheet is browned, 5 to 8 minutes longer (this may take even longer than that), rotating sheet halfway through roasting.
  5. Flip each fennel wedge to second cut side. Continue to roast until second side is browned, 3 to 5 minutes (or more) longer. Transfer to serving dish.
  6. FOR THE DRESSING: While fennel roasts, whisk all ingredients together in small bowl.
  7. Whisk dressing to recombine when ready to use. Drizzle dressing over fennel, sprinkle with fennel fronds, and serve.

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Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

Vermouth-Braised Chicken and Potatoes with Fennel

This one-pot meal from Milk Street with classic Italian flavors couldn’t be easier. The ingredients are combined in the pot, then pressure cooked (or slow cooked) until the chicken is fork-tender. To finish the dish and create a flavorful sauce, the cooking liquid is thickened with a couple tablespoons of flour—just enough for clingability but without any heaviness. A little lemon juice adds acidity and brightness. Super Good!

It is suggested to serve over polenta or with hunks of crusty bread. Since we were doing neither, we increased the amount of baby potatoes by about 50%, to 12 ounces instead of 8 (which would be pretty paltry for four people). And with only 1.6 pounds of thighs, we were able to use our smaller 4-liter pressure cooker. Somehow we forgot to halve the potatoes, but they still came out tender and creamy.

Don’t worry that ½ cup vermouth is too little liquid. The chicken and vegetables release flavorful juices as they cook that, combined with the vermouth, form the base for the sauce.

Vermouth-Braised Chicken and Potatoes with Fennel

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • ½ cup white vermouth
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 8 oz. small yukon gold potatoes (1 to 1½ inches in diameter), halved
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby arugula, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Directions

  1. In a 6-quart Instant Pot, stir together the vermouth, garlic, fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon white pepper. Add the chicken, potatoes and fennel, distributing the ingredients in an even layer.
  2. Lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 8 minutes. When pressure cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally until the float valve drops. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and potatoes to a serving bowl, then tent with foil. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid until smooth, then stir into the pot. Select Normal/Medium Sauté and bring the liquid to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until lightly thickened, 2 to 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in the arugula and lemon juice, then taste and season with salt and white pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and potatoes.

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Adapted from a recipe for Milk Street

Tuscany’s Fagioli All’uccelletto

Otherwise known in English as White Beans with Sage, Garlic and Fennel. Super-fab! This one-pot vegetarian meal is so satisfying and tasty, that if you are a meat-eater—and we are—you won’t miss the meat. The simple combination of white beans, sage and garlic exemplifies the clarity of flavor the Tuscany region’s cooks can pull from just a few ingredients.

It is advised not to use cannellini beans, but rather Navy or Great Northern. We used the latter which are smaller than cannellini beans but larger than navy beans. Known for their delicate, nutty flavor, they’re usually added to casseroles and soups, such as this recipe. In summary, white beans provide a good source of protein, an excellent source of fiber, and several essential nutrients.

This recipe gave us a perfect opportunity to harvest the remainder of our fresh sage from the garden before the cold weather set in. Used in two ways—finely chopped and fried whole—this herb has a pronounced herbal flavor that is earthy, has a slightly peppery taste, and emits hints of mint, eucalyptus, and lemon. What’s more, sage is faintly piney, though not like juniper. It’s much softer and mixed with subtle citrus notes; perhaps a little on the bitter side, though not harshly so.

We loved it topped with an ample garnish of grated parmesan, but if omitted, it could work for the vegans in the family.

Don’t drain both cans of beans. The liquid from one of the cans creates a sauce-like consistency that keeps the beans succulent.

Tuscany's Fagioli All'uccelletto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh sage, plus 20 whole leaves
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 14½-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 15½-oz. cans white beans, 1 can rinsed and drained
  • Shaved or grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Directions

  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the fennel, onion, garlic, chopped sage, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and the beans. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer, for 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, line a plate with paper towels. In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add the sage leaves and cook, flipping the leaves once, until the edges begin to curl, about 1 minute. Transfer to the prepared plate; reserve the oil.
  4. Transfer the beans to a serving bowl, then drizzle with the sage oil. Coarsely crumble the sage leaves over the beans. Top with Parmesan.

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Recipe from Catherine Smart for Milk Street