Chicken breasts with fennel and rosemary

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Chicken breasts with fennel and rosemary are so simple to cook and you can be sure that you won’t be dissapointed. The Mediterranean flavors of fennel, garlic, and rosemary are perfect with chicken. The fennel and chicken are sautéed and then briefly braised in chicken broth, which becomes a tasty light sauce. There are three main types of the fennel. Bitter and sweet fennel are both used as herbs. They have pale green, celery-like stems, bright green, feathery foliage and greenish-brown seeds, all of which have a strong aniseed flavour that particularly complements fish. Florence fennel, also called finocchio or Italian fennel, is eaten as a vegetable and has a broad, bulbous base with a mild aniseed flavour. Look for small, blemish-free bulbs that are pale green, firm and tightly packed, which indicates crispness and freshness.

Ingredients:

tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb (about 1 ¼pounds), cut into ½-inch slices
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
¼ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Fennel and Rosemary

Preparation:

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the fennel, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is golden brown and almost done, about 12 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the fennel is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the fennel and the cooking liquid from the pan.

Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Add the chicken to the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon of rosemary and cook until brown, about 5 minutes.

Turn and cook until almost done, about 3 minutes longer. Add the garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the fennel and its cooking liquid and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let steam 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley.