Spicy fennel seed chicken

Spicy fennel seed chicken

Pollo fritto ai semi di finocchio

By
From
Venice
Serves
2
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

While perusing the English translation of the 14th century cookbook Libro per Cuoco by the Anonimo Veneziano, I was inspired to use fennel seeds to flavour the chicken I was frying for our children. They loved it and named it ‘popcorn chicken’, just because it smells like popcorn cooking and comes in bite-size morsels. Not very 14th century or modern Venetian but too good to miss out, the chicken pieces make the perfect cicchetti just as they are or slap a few into a bread roll with a good dollop of mayonnaise.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
seed oil, for deep-frying
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon ‘00’ or plain flour
fine salt
2 skinless chicken breasts

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large high-sided frying pan or deep-fat fryer to around 175°C or hot enough to make a small piece of bread sizzle when it enters the oil. Grind the fennel seeds to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Mix this into the flour with a good pinch of salt. Cut the chicken into bite-size nuggets and coat each piece in the flour mixture. Tap off the excess and fry, in batches if necessary, for around 8 minutes until golden. (If you prefer to shallow fry the chicken, beat it flat before cutting and cook for 4 minutes, turning once.) Cut a nugget open to make sure they are cooked through but don’t over-fry or they will become dry. Drain on kitchen towels and serve straight away.
Tags:
Venice
Giancarlo
Katie
Caldesi
Venetian
Italian
European
Mediterranean
Italy
Europe
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