Poached Chicken with Fennel
|Chicken legs||6 , skinned|
|Black peppercorns||1 Teaspoon|
|Garlic||2 Clove (10 gm), peeled|
|Anise flavored liqueur/Other licorice-flavored liqueur||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Unsalted chicken stock||3 Cup (48 tbs)|
|Onion||1 , thinly sliced|
|Fennel seed||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Fennel bulbs||2 Large, the tough outer layer and feathery green tops trimmed and reserved, the bulbs cut lengthwise into 6 pieces|
|Celery stalks||1 , cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips about 3 inches long|
|Lettuce leaves||2 Large (Preferably Romaine)|
|Baby carrots||1⁄2 Pound, tops removed, peeled|
|Unsalted butter||1 Tablespoon|
|Freshly ground black pepper||To Taste|
1) Using a mortar, crush the peppercorns and garlic until they form a paste.
2) Coat each chicken leg with this paste.
3) Take a large, heavy-bottomed casserole; bring the liqueur to a boil in it and toss the chicken legs so as to coat them with the liqueur.
4) Pour in the stock, onion, fennel seed and salt.
5) Additional stock or enough water may be added to just cover the chicken, if necessary.
6) Bring the liquid to a boil, then minimize the heat to medium low and allow boiling for 15 minutes.
7) In the meantime, make a bouquet garni; use lettuce leaves to cover the tough outer layer and trimmings from the fennel, the celery strips and the bay leaf and fasten the bundle with butcher's twine.
8) Immerse the bouquet garni in the boiling liquid and add the fennel pieces at the end of the 15 minutes, pressing them into the liquid.
9) Allow boiling, covered for five minutes more.
10) Cook the carrots, uncovered for seven to 10 minutes in this liquid until the juices run clear from a thigh pierced with the sharp knife tip.
11) Take a warmed serving platter and transfer the chicken and vegetables to it.
12) Heat the poaching liquid over high heat and reduce it to about 1 1/4 cups for the sauce.
13) Take off the bouquet garni and beat in butter and some pepper into the sauce.
14) Spoon the sauce over the legs and vegetables and serve after garnishing them, with the feathery fennel tops, if wished.