By Nancy Caivano
1 large fennel bulb, greens and stem removed, halved
1/4 cup plus 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and Pepper
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
All purpose flour
3 tbsp lemon juice
4 cups simmering chicken stock
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 tbsp jar chopped garlic)
1 leek, washed well and thinly sliced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tbsp butter
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese (or Parmesan)
1/2 cup Boursin cheese (Boursin is a seasoned, French cream cheese
that is sold in supermarkets near the regular cream cheese.
Any variety works well here.)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat fennel with 1/4 cup olive oil. Wrap in foil and roast until very soft. When cool enough to handle, chop coarsely. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. sauté until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain. Add lemon juice to pan to deglaze, scraping pan to remove any browned bits. Add to simmering chicken stock.
In a large saucepan, heat remaining 3 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and leek. Cook until onion is translucent. Add rice, stirring constantly, and cook 5 minutes more, making sure rice does not brown. Add wine, stirring constantly, and let totally evaporate. When wine is evaporated, begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, letting each addition evaporate before adding the next addition.
After fourth addition of stock is added, begin tasting rice. Rice should be al dente when done. You need to keep tasting rice, because, depending on rice, you may or may not have to use all of the stock. When fourth addition of stock is absorbed, add chicken and fennel.
After last addition of stock is absorbed, remove from heat, and stir in butter, Romano, Boursin, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
This page created January 2000
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