Dugan's Kitchen

Great meals made easy!

Chicken Ragu with Fennel

I’ve been retired for the last year, so I’ve had more time to cook…and to watch cooking shows.  One that I watched for a while was Rachael Ray.  I saw this recipe one day and after making it a few times, with changes of course, this is what I settled on as my final version.  Give it a try.

Chicken Ragu with Fennel

  • Servings: 4-6 large servings
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Chicken Ragu With Fennel

Chicken Ragu With Fennel


  • 2-4 tablespoons of  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground chicken or turkey
  • ½ of a small bulb of fennel, finely chopped, plus a few tablespoons chopped fronds (the delicate leafy part at the top of the bulb of fennel), for garnish
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped, plus a few tablespoons chopped leaves for garnish
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (I like sweet Vidalia onions)
  • 2 to 3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk or half-and –half
  • 1 rind from a piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese *(optional)
  • 1 pound fettuccine (I prefer whole wheat)
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving.

*You can buy a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano instead of regular parmesan cheese. The rind really adds a lot of flavor to the sauce, but it is pricey to buy it that way.  It does have a lot more flavor than buying the dry version, and it lasts a long time…it is worth it if you cook a fair amount of pasta or soups. 

To prepare:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Stir in the fennel seed.
  4. Add the chicken and cook until brown and crumbly; about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped fennel, celery, onion, and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Partially cover the pan and cook over medium heat until the vegetables soften; about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the chicken stock and the half-and-half.
  9. Drop in the cheese rind and simmer the ragu for 20-30 minutes.
  10. Salt the boiling water, and then cook the pasta to al dente. Reserve half a cup or so of the pasta water, then drain.
  11. Add the reserved water to the sauce and stir (this helps the sauce stick to the pasta). Remove the cheese rind and toss the pasta with the sauce.  Garnish with fennel and celery leaves.



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This entry was posted on March 25, 2014 by in Dinner.

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