Herbed Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar and Braised Fennel
Fresh herbs atomize the chicken’s plump breast as it bakes, while a splash of balsamic vinegar enriches and enhances its roasted brown coat. Chips of aromatic fennel added to balsamic pan drippings offer up a most luxurious dish. If you’re lucky enough to find fresh-growing bay leaves, serve them on the side as a decoration.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Slip the sage, thyme, and bay leaves between the breast skin and meat. Bathe the chicken in the olive oil, using your hands to rub all over. Season with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for 10 minutes. Then drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the entire chicken. Bake another 40 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices.
Remove the chicken from the oven and tent with foil to keep it warm. Pour the pan juices into a serving bowl and keep warm.
In a small skillet coated with DuPont™ Teflon® non-stick, add water to a depth of 1/4 inch. Add the olive oil and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat. Add the fennel and turn down to medium low. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook more until most of the water is evaporated and the fennel begins to brown.
Add the reserved pan juices to the pan and stir with the fennel until warmed through. Remove the herbs from the chicken and serve while passing the sauce.