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Rosemary Chicken with Fennel and Red Onion in White Wine Broth

It was a simple notation on our kitchen calendar, but all of a sudden, there it was, the first day of Fall.

Not that Mother Nature agreed though. In fact, she disagreed so strongly that the sound of humming air conditioners and grass spewing lawn mowers were still the norm, along with those pesky mosquitos that refuse to relinquish control of our back yard. And although she’s likely just protesting the onslaught of pumpkin spice into our atmosphere, the seasons, they will be changing, bringing a shift in our food related choices as well. Because of this shift, a heartier meal just sounded good to me. Yet, conflicted with the current weather situation, or lack thereof, depending on how you look at it, I didn’t want hearty to lead to heavy, as often happens.

So what do you do when you want something that satisfies that hearty craving, yet doesn’t leave you bogged down in a winter’s hibernation state? You make Rosemary Chicken with Fennel and Red Onion in a White Wine Broth, that’s what you do. It can be eaten as a wood fired soup, or combined with noodles or rice (in this case, cauliflower rice) to be enjoyed as a stew. Either way is a win, ending up in a tasty bowl of flavorful goodness that’ll have you slurping the last of the broth without even thinking of putting those pinkies out.

We start with about a pound of boneless chicken, cut up into chunks. I used breast meat, but use what you like, because, hey, you’re eating it. Dust them in flour and a couple of tablespoons of fresh rosemary, chopped. While prepping these chicken chunks, the Weber was heating up, indirect style, including a dutch oven with a tablespoon of olive oil swirled around the bottom. You know what’s coming next, that rosemary and flour dusted chicken gets tossed into the dutch oven for an immediate sizzle and sear.

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You don’t want to actually cook the chicken through here, just brown the outside a bit.

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The chicken was removed, and in its place was about a pound (2 1/2 – 3 Cups) of chopped fennel from the bulb, combined with a small, sliced or chopped red onion.

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Sauté that around in the dutch oven until the ingredients start to get loosey-goosey, translucent, and just start to brown. Within seconds, the air around you will saturate with a captivating aroma that’ll start the jowls watering and have you wondering why someone hasn’t made a candle scent out of this combo.

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Time for that white wine, a quarter cup, and minced garlic, a couple of teaspoons. This little addition will help loosen all the little bits from the bottom of the pan, and get them incorporated into the dish. It’s like an extra seasoning if you think about it, and I did.

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Now, to one can of chicken broth, add about a teaspoon of all-purpose flour.

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Mix it up and pour it into the pot, stirring it in while gazing at the beautiful color that is evolving.

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Move the dutch oven over the coals to amp up the heat and bring this mixture to a boil. While I did this, I reintroduced the partially cooked chicken, but I put them directly on the grill to get a little wood fired flavor on them before they get introduced to their fennel, red onion, garlic and white wine bath.

After a handful of minutes, the chicken is submerged into the broth and veggie mixture, and left to simmer for a good 20 to 30 minutes, mostly because my dinner date wasn’t home yet, but hey, simmering can only enhance the flavors in there, right? Only thing left to do now is grab a bowl.

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We decided to ladle the mixture over cauliflower rice and the taste and texture were  stew-like and awesome. The ends of the fennel were kept and positioned on top for garnish. The flavors all complemented each other deliciously, and while no flavor overpowered the dish, they all contributed to a hearty, but light meal appropriate for any season of the year.

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Because Life Is Better wood Fired