This was the last Sauces class of the year, so Chef Morse set up our final to be kind of Iron Chef-style. Each team got to pick from three proteins: beef, chicken or fish. Our team picked chicken and fish, and I was in charge of the chicken.
This recipe was emailed to my inbox not too long ago, and I decided to adapt it. Instead of clementines I used segmented oranges.
This is me segmenting oranges, one of the first things I ever learned to do in culinary school. And it was taught by Chef Morse too.
After that I cut up fennel in segments too.
Frank helped me marinate them in olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, mustard, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
Meanwhile I prepared the other seasonings in the dish: butter, lemon, toasted almond slices, toasted fennel seed, thyme, parsley (chopped and whole leaf) and fennel frond.
Scott seared off the chicken breasts, seasoned with cayenne, salt and pepper.
Jen contributed a delicious Israeli couscous, made with chicken stock and seasoned with cucumber, fennel frond and feta cheese (the feta changed everything).
After all this we still had some time to kill, so Jen and I candied some orange peel, to further play on the citrus theme and to provide a different textural element.
Once it got close to plating time, I started on the sauce. I took the pan that the chicken had been seared off in, and mounted the pan with some butter.
Then I threw in the marinated orange & fennel, along with some marinade, and cooked that off.
In went the other seasonings I had prepared: lemon juice, toasted almond slices, toasted fennel seed, thyme and chopped parsley.
Cooked everything until the sauce was the consistency I wanted.
Then came plating. Or rather, some contem(plating), haha.
Bed of couscous first, then chicken, then sauce.
We garnished with parsley leaf, fennel frond, slivers of orange peel, and an orange segment.
Besides the chicken being a little dry from finishing too long in the oven, everything tasted pretty good. Citrus + fennel + chicken = good combination.