By Nancy Caivano
6 small or 3 very large fennel bulbs
4 oranges (blood oranges work well also)
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp. butter
2 oz flour
Salt and Pepper
4 tbsp. toasted, chopped almonds
Trim the fennel, cutting off the bases and any feathery greens. Chop the greens and reserve for garnish. Cut the bulbs in half (if using large bulbs, cut in quarters) and place in a large saucepan. Thinly zest 2 oranges, making sure not to get any white pith, and cut zest into fine julienne. Squeeze the juice from 2 oranges.
Add the orange juice and stock to fennel, bring to a boil and simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Add the orange zest and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and arrange the fennel in a serving dish with orange strips, reserving the cooking liquid. Cut away any remaining peel and pith from the 2 zested oranges, and ease out the segments.
Blend the butter and flour together until smooth and gradually beat into the cooking liquid, a small piece at a time. Bring back to the boil, cooking until thickened and smooth.
Add the orange segments to the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 1 minute longer and pour over the fennel.
Top fennel with any reserved, chopped fennel greens and almonds.
This page created November 2000
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