Recipe: One-pot chicken, fennel, potatoes and leeks
The Rt Rev’d Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely, suggests this one-pot wonder for a quick and easy Monday dinner with a touch of luxury. This will be the recipe for our virtual parish dinner on 16 November, 2020. See more here, and sign up to receive the Zoom link in the right-hand menu.
Fennel, sometimes called Florentine fennel to distinguish it from the feathery herb, is still eaten in Italy as a desert, rather as we might serve celery with cheese, except that fennel is put on as a companion—or alternative—to fruit. Here it’s a classic pairing with chicken and leeks. Cooking mellows its aniseed flavour, while parsley and a splash of lemon juice lift the dish.
Wine Choice: 2015 Chianti Melini Riserva, Tuscany, Italy £10.79 (Waitrose)
Will Lyons, wine critic for the Sunday Times, says:
With chicken the world is your oyster when it comes to wine pairings and one could serve a rich, oaky Chardonnay. But with the long nights and the short days a red wine is called for. What better than the uplifting red fruit and juicy acidity of a Chianti.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then brown them lightly in a heavy-bottomed pan in the oil and butter.
Cut the leeks into wine cork-sized lengths, wash thoroughly, then add to the pan. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized chunks and add them to the chicken and leeks.
Separate the fennel bulbs into layers then add them to the pan. Cover with a lid and leave to soften for about 10 minutes.
Grate in the zest from a lemon and continue cooking for a minute or so. Scatter over the flour, then cook for a few minutes before pouring in a litre of chicken or vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper, then lower the heat to a simmer and leave to cook covered for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Finish the dish with the juice of the lemon and a handful of chopped parsley.