Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Fennel-Dusted Chicken with Brown Butter and Capers

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I'm not sure what first caught my eye--the fennel or the fact that this recipe from the most recent issue of Gourmet could be whipped up in less than thirty minutes. But there I found myself in the middle of preparation, before ever wondering if it would taste good or not. I suppose I should just trust Gourmet, but I certainly didn't expect this to work so well.

The brown butter adds a surprising amount of complexity, especially considering the limited number of ingredients. The fennel does add a licorice note, but the real story here is actually the interplay between the slightly sweet orange juice and the briny, salty capers. It's a great pan sauce.

I had to change a few things, namely the chicken. Instead of chicken cutlets I used skin-on boneless chicken breasts with the tenderloin removed. It will take a touch longer to cook than cutlets, but the result is crispy skin with perfectly juicy meat. Plus you'll get a more concentrated sauce. I ate these with sautéed squash, but some potatoes would also work.

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