The mystery ingredients this week were: fennel, parsley, oranges, and chicken thighs. There are quite a few possibilties with these four ingredients. Check the video to see what I did with them.
1 package of Udon noodles (cooked)
1 Thai pepper (chopped)
1/2 onion diced
1 clove garlic
Start by marinating roughly 4 chicken thighs in the juice from 2 oranges, 1 clove garlic and 1 tablespoon salt for roughly 3 hours. Roast at 350 till the chicken reaches 165 (about 20 minutes or so). Then shred the chicken.
Remove stalks from fennel and then thinly slice the bulb (remove outer layer and discard). Juice 2 to three oranges. Rough chop fennel fronds and parsley.
Using a wok or a large pan saute the garlic, thai pepper, sliced fennel, and onion till soft. Deglaze with orange juice and allow to reduce. Add the noodles and allow to heat through, absorbing the liquid. Finish with the herbs, then serve topping with shredded chicken.
Notes: My first highlight of the dish is how well the marinade shined through with the chicken. The juice lightened the rich flavor of the chicken thighs.
Oranges and fennel tend to match almost perfectly, the citrus playing off the anise flavor nicely. With the slight heat from the Thai pepper there was a great combo of flavors going on.
In the future, a bit of fresh ginger would really bring this together and tighten up the loose ends.
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Time for a pint...