Leftovers part 1: The soup that eats like a meal
How often do you end up making a soup when you find leftovers in your midst? Extra chicken bits, unused gravy and remaining veggies make a logical progression into a hearty and flavourful soup. As I posted on Thursday, I get a hearty and tasty Carrot and Fennel Soup that recalls the best leftover soups because the flavours have built up over time and left to linger. But surprisingly, it's the dish you see above, not that soup from last week, that is the "leftover" meal.
That's right. When I get my hands on a fennel bulb, the first thing I do is start chopping it up for soup. Everything else comes second. When I bought a bulb that had spectacular frond action, I knew I had way too much for a soup garnish. So I kept the what I had leftover. Then when I came across some cute chicken cutlets the idea struck me. Create fennel-stuffed chicken breasts!
This worked really well for something that I made up as I went along. Because I had some small stalky parts mixed in with the fronds, the anise scent quickly permeated the scalloped chicken pieces while I pan-fried them, first on high heat for searing and then slow-cooked on low. I made a simple breading for the chicken and didn't do anything at all to my leftover fennel except chop it coarsely. Delicious!
Pretty impressive for leftovers.