Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Braised Fennel

We had a couple of beautiful fennel bulbs and some fresh chicken breasts so I started looking for a clever recipe to combine these two. Looking through Food & Wine magazine I found just the recipe I wanted, albeit with a few changes I immediately decided upon. The original recipe was attributed to David Malosh and I gladly pass that attribution on here.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into strips
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½  cup meat broth or homemade stock and ¼ cup Noilly Prat dry or a dry white wine
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add the onion, fennel, 2 sprigs of rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is golden brown and almost done, about 15 minutes. Add the broth and wine mixture and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the fennel is tender, about 5 minutes.

The original recipe called for cleaning the pan and sauteeing the chicken in it, however, I prefer to sautee the chicken in a separate pan in order to save time. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and place on medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and about ¼ teaspoon pepper and add to the pan with a few sprigs of rosemary. Sautee until brown on one side, about 8 minutes, turn over and cook on the other side for anothr 5 to 8 minutes or until the chicken is done (internal temperature 75 °C or ^65 °F). Add the finely minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring to keep from burning. Add the chicken with garlic and juice to the fennel pan, season to taste, bring to a simmer covered for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest covered for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve alone or with polenta or rice.