I made this Lemon Braised Fennel to pair with my Buttery Herb Roasted Chicken, and the combination was just about perfect. The usually strong anise/licorice flavor you think of with uncooked fennel is mellowed dramatically by the braising process. Lemon and white wine compliment the already complex, sweetly perfumed quality of the fennel, and it’s character becomes both delicate and soothed.
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A and C, along with loads of potassium and calcium, fennel is as healthy as it is flavorful. It may just be the most underrated and underutilized vegetables I can think of. I know you’ve seen it in the produce section of your grocery store and if you’ve never bought it, you need to. This weekend, buy some fennel and make this Lemon Braised Fennel and my Buttery Herb Roasted Chicken. You’ll be happy you did.
Here’s how I make my Lemon Braised Fennel.
- 2 Fennel Bulbs
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 1 Cup White Wine
- Fresh Thyme Sprigs
- 2 Lemons
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
-Trim the tops from the fennel, slice in half from top to bottom so that you have two wide thin pieces approximately 1-inch thick.
-Lay the fennel, cut side up, in a small casserole dish, I use a 3-quart casserole
-Pour the stock, wine and the juice of one lemon into the casserole dish with the fennel
-Cut the second lemon into thin slices
-Drizzle the fennel with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and lay the lemon slices on top with the fresh thyme
-Place into a preheated oven at 400°F
-Braise until the root end of the fennel is tender and can easily be pierced with the tip of a knife