For those of you that are still thawing out from the winter cold (or where the season is getting cooler), this is a dinner inspired by ingredients in my CSA box a couple of months ago. It’s a chicken stew symphony with notes of anise, brandy, raisin, mustard and lemon zest–substantive and savory, but still light.
Braised Chicken with Fennel and Meyer Lemon
3 chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks separated, bone in, skin on
All Purpose flour, for dredging
2 fennel bulbs, core trimmed, cut into sixths with core intact, fronds reserved
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, cut into 2 in long pieces
8 cloves garlic, peeled
half Meyer lemon, 1/8th inch slices, quartered
2 Tbsp golden raisins
1/2 c brandy
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp Better Than Bouillon
2 c water
2 Tbsp butter, cold and cubed
salt and pepper
1. Heat up heavy bottomed pot or pressure cooker with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Brown fennel wedges, garlic cloves, and carrot on medium high heat. Do not crown pan. Remove when golden brown and set aside.
2. Season flour with salt and pepper. Lightly coat chicken and shake off excess.
3. Add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil to same pot and brown chicken on both sides on medium high heat, in batches, if necessary. Remove and set aside.
4. Brown onion. Add in Meyer lemon pieces and continue to brown for 1-2 minutes. Add in brandy, mustard, and Better than Bouillon. Add in water once alcohol has cooked off.
5. Lay chicken pieces into liquid, skin side up. Add in raisins. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or cook at high pressure for 10 min.
6. Release pressure (if using pressure cooker). Add in fennel, carrots, and garlic and simmer uncovered to cook vegetables and reduce liquid for 10-12 minutes.
7. Taste and adjust seasoning. May add salt, pepper, and honey (if needed) at this time.
8. Turn off heat and swirl in cubes of the cold butter to finish sauce. Garnish with fennel fronds.
Wonderful with roasted beets sautéed in butter and baked sweet potato.
For those of you in California interested in getting a CSA box delivered to your door, I use Farm Fresh to You. You can get different size boxes of all organic, local, in-season produce delivered every week or even once a month. I also love that the boxes are customizable–you can choose to omit certain items and replace them with others! Sign up for deliveries using my promo code VANZ6752 for $10 off your first delivery.