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1. To prepare fennel, cut off and discard upper stalks. Remove any wilted outer layers and cut a thin slice from each fennel base. Wash fennel and cut each bulb into quarters. In a large saucepan cook the fennel in a small amount of boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
2. Lightly grease a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Arrange half of the fennel quarters in the baking dish. Drizzle half of the melted butter over the fennel. Sprinkle with half each of the parsley, sage, salt, and pepper. Add the remaining fennel. Drizzle with remaining butter; sprinkle with remaining parsley, sage, salt, and pepper. Pour chicken broth and wine along the sides of the baking dish, being careful not to wash off any of the butter or seasonings. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese.
3. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Remove cover; sprinkle with remaining cheese and the crumbled bacon. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes more or until fennel is tender and top is golden.
4. Makes 12 servings