About this recipe:The distinctive aniseed flavour of fennel makes it a pleasing partner to most fish or chicken main courses.
900 g (2 lb) fennel
1 tablespoon butter
150 ml (5 fl oz) dry white wine
2 bay leaves, optional
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
300 ml (10 fl oz) vegetable stock
Salt and black pepper
To garnish: 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:40min › Ready in:55min
Discard the tough outer layer of the fennel, then cut it lengthways into 1cm (½ in) thick slices. Melt 1 teaspoon of the butter in a deep heavy-based frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the fennel, in batches if necessary, for 3 minutes on each side, or until it is golden, adding a little butter with each batch.
Return all the fennel to the pan, add the wine and boil for 5 minutes, or until only a small amount of the liquid remains.
Add the bay leaves, if using, garlic, thyme and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the fennel is tender.
Season to taste, scatter with the chopped dill and thyme and serve.