Chicken with Kosher Sausage, Fennel and Peas, Recipe from Kosher Revolution

My only adventure in Kosher food was some 30 years ago in London as I was trying to grab a bite before a 5 PM concert at Hammersmith Odeon featuring 999 and The Runaways.

The only place opened right across the street was a Kosher restaurant.

I ordered by pointing to something another customer was having that looked appetizing.

I cannot remember what it was.

I am sure that Kosher options like everything else have changed quite a bit in the 3 decades since.

In his introduction to Kosher Revolution (Kyle Books, October 2011) by Geila Hocherman and Arthur Boehm, Arthur Schwartz reminds us that 'Kosher is a set of rules, not a cuisine, and, as Geila Hocherman amply proves, you can be kosher and cook Chinese, French, Italian, Indian, New American-any cuisine in the world'.

Geila Hocherman was the gourmet food buyer at Bloomingdales and considers it her mission to "make kosher cooking indistinguishable from any other kind."

Here's a teaser from what Kosher Revolution has to offer.

Chicken with Sausage, Fennel and Peas recipe

Serves 6 to 8

I love fresh fennel, a vegetable the Italians dote on, but which we tend to neglect. Paired here with chicken and sausage—a great combo in itself—the vegetable really shines. This one-pot dish, perfect for family dining or casual entertaining, owes its existence to newly improved Italian-style kosher sausage. Don’t let the number of ingredients put you off; everything goes together quickly, and the result pleases everybody.

Geila’s Tips

To slice the fennel easily, trim the stalks from the bulb, and half it top-to-bottom. Core and place each half on your cutting surface and slice it across as you would an onion.

You can prepare this through step 7 several hours in advance. Reheat the dish in a 375ºF oven and proceed.

Ingredients

6 tablespoons canola oil,plus more if needed

1 pound sweet Italian sausage (page 19), sliced 1 inch thick

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

12 chicken thighs, or half dark and half white meat

7 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed

1 large fennel bulb, sliced thin

Kosher salt

2 large onions, sliced thin

12 garlic cloves

3/4 pound fingerling potatoes, peeled and cut into 11/2-inch pieces 2 small lemons

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup white wine

3 rosemary sprigs

4 fresh sage leaves

3 tablespoons fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried

2 cups frozen peas, defrosted

CHICKEN_FENNEL_009 (2)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

2. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in pan over medium heat. Add the sausage and sauté, turning once, until brown,about 5 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a roasting pan and reserve the first pan.

3. Meanwhile, spread the flour on a large platter, add the chicken and dredge it. Heat 2 tablespoons each of the olive and canola oil in the pan over medium heat. Shake excess flour from the chicken, add it to the pan, and sauté, turning once, until brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the roasting pan.

4. If the flour has blackened, wash the pan and add 2 tablespoons each of the canola and olive oils. Otherwise, pour off half the remaining oil from the pan. Heat over medium heat, add the fennel, season with salt, and sauté, stirring, until the fennel has wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and transfer the vegetables to the roasting pan.

5. In the same pan, combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, the potatoes and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the potatoes begin to color in the oil, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to the roasting pan. (The potatoes won’t be cooked through.)

6. Squeeze the lemon over the roasting pan mixture, add the stock, wine, rosemary, sage and oregano, and bake until the chicken juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with the point of a knife, or to an internal temperature of 170ºF., 30 to 45 minutes.

7. Transfer the chicken, sausage and potatoes, plus any larger pieces of onion and fennel, to a warmed platter. Add the peas to the pan and warm in residual heat, stirring, about 2 minutes. Pour the peas and pan sauce over the platter mixture and serve.

(* Recipe from Kosher Revolution by Geila Hocherman and Arthur Boehm, published by Kyle Books, October 2011, photo by by Antonis Achilleous)

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