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Crispy Panko Fennel Chicken

February 16, 2010

Panko Fennel Chicken

Recipe: Crispy Panko Fennel Chicken
Cooking Time: A little over an hour

How, you might be asking yourself, did I have time to whip up a fancy-pants dinner like Crispy Panko Fennel Chicken while I’m still unpacking boxes in my new house and in the middle of a minor but disruptive kitchen re-model? Oh, it was nothing, darlings! I just whipped it right up!

Don’t you sometimes wish you were one of those people who thrived on four hours of sleep and no matter what was going on in your personal life, your professional life sailed smoothly along? I heard a woman say once that you can have it all, you just can’t have it all at the

My kitchen cabinets, being painted in the garage

same time. I think these are wise words. I can move into a new house, re-paint all the walls and cabinets, juggle work, keep in touch with family and close friends, and post recipes regularly to this blog. I just can’t do it all at once, which is why I haven’t posted in way too long and have had sketchy contact with friends (sorry, girls!) and have left much of the sanding and re-painting of the kitchen cabinets to the husband (sorry, love!).

And the truth is that I didn’t whip up Crispy Panko Fennel Chicken just the other night. I whipped it up last month before I moved, I just haven’t got around to telling you about it. Although the recipe is truly easy enough that I could whip it up this week and so could you. The two key ingredients – fennel seeds and Panko – are found in most grocery stores and add fantastic flavor and crunchiness to plain old chicken.

Fennel Seed

Fennel is a tricky beast. The  main flavor attributed to it is anise or licorice, and I hate licorice. I don’t even like red ropes, which barely have any real licorice flavor at all. I do, however, love fennel. I love the bulb sliced up raw in salads or baked with olive oil and I love the seeds, used as a spice. Crispy Panko Fennel Chicken is flavored with a small amount of fennel seeds, which gives this simple dish a gentle, intriguing flavor. I served it with an easy side of Creamed Kale and Cabbage. This meal is just the thing when you are trying to be a woman who can do it all – work, take care of kids, whip up amazing meals – when really you are hanging on by a thread and secretly wondering if your husband has noticed that you haven’t had time to shave your armpits in two weeks.

Although there is still blue tape around all our windowsills (which I swear I’m going to try to paint this week), and the grass/weeds in our wild backyard are just about knee-high, and we can’t figure out why our kitchen lights suddenly stopped working and the dishwasher groans loudly and angrily every time we run it, life is incredibly good. I’m thankful to have so much going on in my life, even though I can’t always glide effortlessly through it all.

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