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Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Fennel and Rosemary

The Mediterranean flavors of fennel, garlic, and rosemary are perfect with chicken. The fennel and chicken are sauteed and then briefly braised in chicken broth, which becomes a tasty light sauce.

Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the fennel, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the fennel is golden brown and almost done, about 12 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the fennel is tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the fennel and the cooking liquid from the pan.
  2. Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Add the chicken to the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon of rosemary and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until almost done, about 3 minutes longer. Add the garlic; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the fennel and its cooking liquid and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let steam 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley.

Serve With

Soft polenta is an appropriate accompaniment to this Italian-style dish. Mashed potatoes are another good match.

Suggested Pairing

The fennel and the rosemary will pair especially nicely with a full-bodied red wine that has a hint of sweetness, such as a Rioja from Spain.

Photo © David Malosh Published February 2013

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