Chicken Thighs with Sausage and Braised Fennel

 

Cooking for 2, 4, 6, 20 people?! Simply change the number of guests you are feeding and watch the ingredients below update to make the perfect amount of food. TIP: You might want to account for those who tend to go for seconds…or thirds.  Whatever, we don’t judge.

Chicken Thighs with Sausage and Braised Fennel

Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large bulb fresh fennel (about 1 lb.) with stalks attached
  • 2 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large yellow onion halved and thinly sliced
  • 6 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 lbs.) large pieces of fat trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 links Polidori Sweet Italian Sausage (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato (about 1/2 lb.) peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano freshly grated

Instructions
 

  • Cut the stalks off the fennel. If there are any fronds, save a small handful. Quarter the fennel bulb through its core; reserve one quarter (two if using small bulbs). Slice the remaining fennel through the core into wedges about ½ inch thick.
  • Season the chicken well withs alt and pepper. Heat 3 tbs of the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add half of the thighs and brown them well, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate. Add the remaining thighs and the sausage to the pot, brown them, and reserve with the first batch of thighs. 
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the fennel wedges and onion, and season well with salt. Cook, stirring often until the onion softens completely and caramelizes slightly, about ten minutes. Push the fennel and onion to one side of the pot, add 1 tsp. oil to the pot and sauté the garlic in the oil for 20 seconds. Stir it into the vegetable mixture, turn the heat to high, and add the wine. Cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the wine is almost completely reduced, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add 1 ½ cups of the chicken broth, the potato, and the rosemary. When the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the dead to medi-um low and cover the pot. Simmer until the potato is just tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer 1 ½ cups of the vegetables and brother to blender, puree, and then mix it back into the rest of the broth. If the sauces it too thick, thin it with some of the remaining broth. Nestle the chicken into the sauce, add any accumulated juices, cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar, and adjust the heat to maintain a low simmer. Slice the sausages into 1-inch pieces. After the chicken has been simmering for 15 minutes, add the sausage pieces. Cover partially and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the chicken and sausage are cooked through (check by slicing into each), another 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the rosemary. 
  • Meanwhile, use a sharp vegetable peeler to shave the remaining fennel and put it in a small bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Finely chop 1 to 2 tbs of the reserved fennel fronds (save the rest) and add to the shaved fennel along with the re-maining oil. Toss well and taste for seasoning. 
  • Stir the balsamic vinegar and parmigiano into the stew; taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve, lading a portion of chicken, sausage, and sauce into each bowl. Sprinkle each serving with more parmigiano and mound a small portion of fennel salad and the reserved fennel fronds over it.