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Chicken and Fennel Tarts

ingredients

makes 6 tarts
1 3/4 cup (200 g) wholewheat flour
Pinch salt
Pinch each freshly ground fennel seed, aniseed and white pepper
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 stick + 1 tbsp (3 1/2 oz) 100 g butter
2 small eggs
400 g (14 oz) fennel
1 cup (8 fl oz) 250 ml chicken stock
400 g (14 oz) cooked chicken
1 tbsp each olive oil, lemon juice and mayonnaise
1/2 tsp each seasoning salt and paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 lemon
Butter to grease 6 tins, 8 cm (3 1/2 in) across

method

1. Combine flour, salt, fennel seed, aniseed, pepper, baking powder, butter and eggs; knead the short pastry lightly.

2. Trim stems of fennel, reserving some of the tops. Wash fennel heads, cut into eighths, then cut again into strips 1/2 cm (1/4 in) thick.

3. Bring chicken stock to the boil and simmer fennel strips, covered, for 5 minutes. Then leave to drain in sieve.

4. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4. Grease tins with butter.

5. Roll out pastry and line tins. Bake for 15 minutes, then cool on wire rack.

6. Chop cooked chicken; combine with fennel, oil, lemon juice, mayonnaise and seasonings.

7. Cut lemon into thin wedges.

8. Fill pastry shells with chicken mixture and garnish with wedges of lemon and chopped fennel tops

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