Chicken with Fennel

  Take the chickens, cut them up, fry them, and when they are fried add the quantity of water you prefer; then take "beards" of fennel, "beards" of parsley, and almonds that have not been skinned; and chop these things well, mix them with the liquid from the chickens, and boil everything, then pass through a sieve. Add it to the chickens, and add the best spices you can get.
This chicken recipe, with its tan and green sauce and its subtle flavor of fennel, is remarkable. It is another light dish that would not be out of place on the most inventive of modern menus. 1 free-range chicken

2/3 cup (100 g) unblanched almonds
a handful of fennel or dill leaves
a handful of parsley
2 cups (1/2 liter) water
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine spices (see below)
2 tablespoons lard or oil

   Cut the chicken into serving pieces and pat dry. Melt the lard in a casserole over medium-high heat and brown the chicken. When it is golden brown, add the water and salt to taste. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes or until tender.
   Meanwhile, wash and thoroughly dry the herbs. Grind the almonds finely in a blender or food processor, then add the herbs and blend to a paste.
   Remove the chicken from the casserole and keep it warm in a very low oven, covered loosely with aluminum foil.
   Add the almond mixture to the casserole and reduce over medium heat until the sauce has thickened.
   Arrange the chicken on a serving platter and strain the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with the spices to taste and serve.

The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy
by Odile Redon, Françoise Sabban, & Silvano Serventi
Translated by Edward Schneider