Recipe: Braised Fennel

Recipe for Braised Fennel

Difficulty: Moderate
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Serves: 6 as a side dish

3 bulbs of fennel
4 strips bacon, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1.    Remove stems from fennel.  Cut bulbs in half (from top to bottom).  Remove most of the core from the bottom center of the halved bulbs.
2.    In a large sauté pan, render bacon until it begins to brown.  Add onion and cook until translucent.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
3.    Spoon this cooked mixture into a 9 x 13 pan.  Top with fennel, stock, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper.  Cover with aluminum foil and cook in a 350° oven until the fennel is very tender (about 45 minutes).
4.    Remove fennel from liquid.  Pour into a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Boil until the liquid reduces by about 1/2 .   
5.    To serve, pour the liquid over the fennel and sprinkle with Parmesan.

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