Short and sweet, here are the little and lovely things that made this a good week:
1. My fastest mile in recent memory (Crossfit Endurance + Whole30, methinks)
2. Genuine admiration from the chef on my perfectly cooked steak (thanks in large part to my instant thermometer an asset to those getting more adventurous with meat preparation)
3. An unexpected Saturday morning of leisure with said chef
4. Feeling financially fit: setting up a monthly budget AND doing my taxes–my goodness! Now what to do with that refund…
5. Finishing three of our chairs and the celebratory meal that followed
6. The lazy braise, because dinner doesn’t always have to be hard… It’s not exactly a beautiful meal so I didn’t stop to photograph it but I assure you it’s tasty and satisfying!
Makes 2 servings
2-4 bone in, skin on chicken pieces (I’m a fan of the leg/thigh combination but feel free to use all thighs or breasts or whatever suits you)
1/2 of a large cabbage
1 large fennel bulb
1 medium or large onion
Salt, pepper, and seasonings of choice
1/2 cup water or stock
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and heat a large dutch oven over medium heat.
2. Add the fat of your choice (about a tablespoon) and once it’s hot, use tongs to place the chicken in skin side down. Once the chicken has browned, flip it and allow the other side to brown a bit. This process takes maybe 5-6 minutes.
3. In the meantime, roughly chop the vegetables. Cabbage, fennel, and onion all have natural layers so just cut manageable pieces into cross sections and use your hands to separate the layers. Easy!
4. Turn off the heat under the dutch oven and remove chicken to a plate–it won’t be done, just browned. Add the vegetable matter to the oil still in the pan and stir in with salt, pepper, and any other flavor profile you’re craving. I’m always a fan if chili flakes…
5. Place the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables and add about 1/2 cup of water or stock. Put a heavy lid on over the whole mess and throw it into the oven for an hour.
6. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Be sure your serving includes some of the extremely tasty juices in the bottom of the pot… Enjoy!
Gratuitous photo of Willett asleep with his tongue stuck out.
No photos of lazy braise, but here’s one of another use for fennel. Finely sliced with celery and endive and dressed with Meyer lemon vinaigrette, fennel makes for an extremely fresh, seasonal salad when the tender produce of spring seems awfully far off…