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Chicken braised with fennel, mushrooms and olives

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 6 to 8
Chicken braised with fennel, mushrooms and olives
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
1

Place the flour on a plate and stir in 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pat the chicken thoroughly dry and dredge it in the flour, shaking off any excess.

2

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot enough that a piece of the chicken dipped in the oil sizzles, add the chicken, skin-side down. You’ll need to do this in two batches. Cook until the chicken has browned, 5 to 6 minutes, and then turn and cook on the other side until it no longer looks raw, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and keep it warm.

3

Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the fennel and cook until it starts to become tender, about 3 minutes. Add the the shallots and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce by 1/3, until it smells sweet and not of raw alcohol, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard and add the mushrooms and green olives.

4

Add the chicken thighs back to the pan skin-side up, resting them on top of the fennel. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the chicken is done through, about 10 minutes. Check by piercing a thigh deeply with a paring knife; the knife should slide in easily and there should be no bloody juices.

5

While the chicken is finishing, chop together the lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of the reserved fennel fronds.

6

Divide the fennel and mushrooms evenly among four warmed pasta bowls. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle with the chopped fennel fronds and lemon zest and a little more salt if necessary.


Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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