Bouillabaisse is traditionally a fish stew, but in Ina Garten’s cookbook Back to Basics, she presents a more pocket friendly version with chicken. There were a few items I did not have so I made my own substitutions – I’m a rebel (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it)! It is topped with a Rouille that completed the dish and married all the flavors together perfectly. Definitely a meal for these chilly days and absolutely worth the time.
I’m usually not one to post things that are slightly time extensive. However, there are some recipes that are worth spending a little bit of extra time making – and this is one of them. Make it for the holidays or for a Sunday dinner! Served with crunchy bread and a side salad, you’ll be the happiest cook in all the land! I’ll post her recipe with my notes and additions bolded. The recipe says it serves 3. I’d say 4. Again, because I’m a rebel.
For the Chicken Bouillabaise:
- 1 (4 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces (I had Mr. M do this, but you can also buy a whole chicken already dissasembled or ask your market butcher to do it for you. Or just use 8-10 pieces of the parts you like the most!)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- Good olive oil
- 1 large head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads (Shiz is expensive, so if you have it great – if you don’t, it’ll still be delicious. I got mine from my mom. I’m very mature.)
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato puree
- 1 1/2 cups good chicken stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons Pernod (This is apparently a licorice flavored liquor. I didn’t have any, so I mixed 1/4 teaspoon plus a few drops of licorice extract in 3 tablespoons of vodka.)
- Peel of one orange
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
- Rouille, for serving, recipe follows
- Crusty bread for serving
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season it generously with salt, pepper, and the rosemary. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large oven safe pot and brown the chicken pieces in batches until nicely browned all over, about 5 to 7 minutes per batch. Transfer the browned chicken pieces to a plate and set aside. They will not be cooked through by any means.
Lower the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, saffron, fennel seeds, tomato puree, chicken stock, white wine, Pernod, orange peel, butter, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper to the pot. Stir and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the garlic is very tender, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Remove the orange peel from the sauce. Carefully pour the sauce into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree until smooth. Return the sauce to the pot and add the sliced potatoes and browned chicken pieces with their juices. Stir carefully.
Cover the pot and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is done. Check your seasonings and serve hot in shallow bowls with big dollops of Rouille and slices of crusty bread.
For the Rouille:
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (again, you’ll be okay without it)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup good olive oil
Place the garlic and salt on a cutting board and mince together. Transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the egg yolk, lemon juice, saffron, and red pepper flakes. Process until smooth.
With the machine running, pour the olive oil in a thin, steady stream through the feed tube to make a thick mayonnaise emulsion. Transfer the rouille to a serving bowl and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
**If the thought of using a raw egg yolk freaks you out, don’t use it. You can replace the yolk and olive oil with 1 cup of store bought mayonnaise. Stir all of the remaining ingredients together and chill until ready to use!**
Enjoy!! Nom with Love!