CHICKEN THIGHS WITH FEN­NEL, OLIVES AND LEMON

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - LIFE -

1 lemon, thickly sliced 1 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil 1 tbsp (15 mL) but­ter 12 chicken thighs 4 large fen­nel bulbs Small pinch of saf­fron threads 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt 2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock 1 cup (250 mL) green olives, pit­ted 2 tbsp (30 mL) flat-leaf pars­ley, coarsely chopped Pre­heat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line a bak­ing sheet with parch­ment pa­per and ar­range lemon slices on it. Sprin­kle lightly with salt and bake on top rack of pre­heated oven for 12 min­utes. Re­move pan from oven and set it aside. Turn oven down to 350 F (180 C). In a large, heavy, oven­proof fry­ing pan, heat 1 ta­ble­spoon (15 mL) of the oil with the but­ter un­til siz­zling. Brown the chicken thighs well on one side and lightly on the other side. Set chicken aside. Trim the fi­brous stalks from the fen­nel, set each bulb up­right on a cut­ting board and cut down each bulb into four slices, each about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick, keep­ing the root ends of the bulb at­tached. Cook fen­nel over medium heat in the same pan used for the chicken un­til well browned on all sides, ad­ding more oil if nec­es­sary. Set fen­nel aside and wash out the pan. Grind saf­fron with a mor­tar and pes­tle, along with 1/2 tea­spoon (2.5 mL) salt. Pour chicken stock into the pan, bring it to a boil, add saf­fron and cook for one minute. Add chicken, skin side up. Ar­range fen­nel around and on top of the chicken, and spread the olives and lemon slices on top. Trans­fer pan to the cen­tre of the pre­heated oven and bake un­cov­ered for 30 min­utes. Serve with pars­ley sprin­kled on top, along with cous­cous, orzo or rice and a green salad. Serves 6.

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