A freshly-harvested bucket full of carrots in January (right before the snow fell) was the inspiration for this SIBO friendly chicken dinner.
That… and spotting the last bit of cognac that had been languishing on a shelf (feel free to substitute vermouth, brandy, white wine, or whatever last bit of alcohol you have on hand). The key is letting the fennel caramelize… the browner the better… to ensure a rich, deep flavor. Whatever alcohol you use to deglaze those browned bits just makes it more delicious.
And don’t be afraid to salt the chicken thighs… after catching Saimin Nosrat’s amazing 4 part series on Netflix, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat,” and subsequently running right out to buy her cookbook, the very first chapter on salt has me approaching all types of cooking differently.
But please use Diamond Crystal brand KOSHER salt—that stuff in the red box (pictured at right). Don’t pre-salt with table salt, and don’t use Morton’s kosher salt either, because the results will be vastly different, as one of my readers found out when making my eggplant parmesan recipe.
Behold my proud carrot harvest… just a day before snows in January, no less! 😉
Ingredients (serves 2):
1 heaping TBL coconut oil
4 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, pounded with a meat mallet until they’re an even thickness
1/2 cup diced fennel (use the bulb and/or stalks; I had leftover stalks so that’s what I used)
2 TBL minced ginger
1/3 cup cognac (or dry vermouth, or white wine, etc.)
4 cups coarsely chopped carrots
1) Using Diamond Crystal kosher salt, pre-salt your chicken thighs—preferably 1/2 hour in advance, but right before cooking is fine too.
2) In a large frying pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat until it’s just started to shimmer. Place the thighs into the pan, and sauté until the first side is golden brown, roughly 3 minutes.
3) Turn the chicken thighs over, and add the fennel and ginger around them. Stir now and then to allow the fennel and ginger to begin browning evenly. After about 3-4 minutes, turn down the heat and continue to monitor (and stir) the fennel and ginger as needed, until they’ve reached a nice, deep brown color.
4) Add the cognac (or other alcohol), along with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Stir to loosen anything that’s stuck to the pan.
5) Add the carrots, cover the pan, and turn down the heat to simmer. Cook until the carrots are at your desired tenderness, checking and adding more water if needed. I like a slightly “al dente” carrot, so ours were done in about 5 minutes.
Serve with a side of steamed greens, broccoli, or green beans, if you like.