Chicken with Roasted Fennel and Apple Brandy Cream Sauce is an easy weeknight dinner that's a total showstopper! Perfect for those days when you're in a complete dinner rut!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Slice fennel in half. (I like to leave the core in since we're roasting but you can take it out if you want.) Lay the fennel cut-side down on a cutting board. Slice the fennel into 1/4-inch slices, all the way up to the fronds (the leafy part of the fennel). Finely chop the fronds.
Add the cut fennel, minus the fronds, and apples to a medium bowl (You can also do this directly on the pan if you don't want to dirty up another dish). Toss with one tablespoon of olive oil. Add fennel seeds, pinch of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Toss until evenly coasted. Spread onto a large baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes or until they vegetables start to caramelize and soften.
While the veggies cook, season chicken breasts liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. (I usually use about 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of chicken, and about 1/4 teaspoon black pepper per pound.) Heat a large cast iron skillet to a medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add chicken. Sear until golden brown and crusty on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Remove veggies from the oven, and sprinkle around chicken breasts. Place back in the oven and roast until chicken is cooked through and fennel and apples are soft and sweet, about 5 more minutes. Transfer chicken, fennel and apples to a plate to rest, cover with foil.
Return the cast iron skillet to the stove and heat over a medium flame or burner. Add calvados. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Simmer until reduced by about half, about 2-3 minutes. Add cream, remaining salt and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until cream has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chicken, fennel and apples back to the pan.
Serve with sauce, fennel and apples spooned on top and around chicken. Garnish with fennel fronds.