Chicken with Fennel and Olives

It's 2012.  It's time to get healthy again!

How about embracing a new veg?  It could be the start of something beautiful.

I'm talking about fennel.  It only looks scary on the outside.  Inside, it's sweet, and licorice-y, and Sambuca-like.  A veggie that tastes like an after-dinner drink?  Sign me up.

How about we caramelize it, so that its anise flavor infuses into whatever saucy, stove-top hot tub party it joins.

(I'm in a weird mood today.)

It's 2012.  It's time to get friendly with things that are green, and vitamin-rich, and good for your heart and soul.

It's also time to make one of those pesky to-do lists, a.k.a. New Year's resolutions. 

Is it ok to say that I don't have any new and trendy resolutions this year?  Truthfully, I'm not all that creative or excited when it comes to this sort of list.  Weird, right?

Is it ok that when it comes to health, my plan is to continue cooking regularly, eating mindfully, and trying new things?  I think it is.  Let's do it together!

And let's start with fennel!  This easy recipe for sauteed chicken with caramelized fennel, onions, tomatoes, and olives is a delicious and satisfying way to experiment with such a hearty winter vegetable.  Serve it over wild rice or couscous for a complete and easy weeknight meal.

It's 2012.  I firmly resolve to keep working on tasty, healthy, easy things here in my Type A Kitchen, so keep an eye out for some fun and exciting changes in the new year.

Happy New Year!

Chicken with Fennel and Olives
Yields 3-4 servings

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lb chicken scallopine
2 tbs fennel frond, chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c low sodium, fat free chicken broth
16-oz can stewed tomatoes, in their juice
10 kalamata olives, sliced
1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and coat with 1 tbs of the oil.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and add to the pan.  Cook approximately 3 minutes per side, or until lightly browned.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tbs of oil back to the pan, and toss in the onion, sliced fennel bulb, and garlic.  Saute for 3 minutes, stirring often to scrape up browned bits (bonus flavor!).

Add the chicken broth, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the stewed tomatoes, fennel frond, and salt/pepper.  Bring to a simmer.

Return the chicken to the pan.  Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in the olives, and heat through.

Place chicken on individual plates or a platter, and spoon the sauce and sauteed vegetables over the chicken.  Garnish with parsley.

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