Braised Fennel Crunch
serves 4 to 6
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 large fennel bulbs, cut into 1/4-inch slices through the root
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
- Preheat the broiler.
- In a wide non-stick skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and just begins to foam, add the fennel slices. Sauté, turning the slices often with a silicone spatula, until just turning golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, and allow it to reduce for 30 to 60 seconds. Add the chicken broth, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the fennel is tender to the tip of a knife, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid from the pot, and allow any excess moisture to evaporate.
- In a bowl, toss together the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, panko, and fennel fronds and chervil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spray a 9 1/2- by 12-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil. Place the fennel all around the bottom of the dish, and cover with the panko-herb mixture. Place in the boiler, 5 to 6 inches below the heat source, and cook until the panko is golden-brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately.
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