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Chicken Bouillabaisse

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I love Ina Garten’s recipes, but sometimes I forget to look through her cookbooks or recipes on The Food Network when I’m looking for inspiration.  I was recently looking through Back to Basics, and thought this dish would be perfect to make on a gray, rainy Saturday when there wasn’t much else to do.  I had also just picked up some saffron at Whole Foods, and was looking for the perfect dish to use it in.

This recipe isn’t difficult, but does take a couple of hours because of simmering and baking time, so it’s probably not the best weeknight meal.  It’s great, however, for when you want to make something special to celebrate, or just because you have some extra time and want to spend it in the kitchen :)  I love potatoes in slow-cooking dishes like this.  There few better comfort meals than tender meat and potatoes.  The Rouille sauce was delicious and was a great way to thicken this dish to make it the perfect consistency.  I loved the way the flavors came together- it was the perfect blend.  I couldn’t find Pernod, so I just used a little extra white wine.  You could do this, or just leave it out entirely.  We both loved this and it is something I would definitely make again.

Chicken Bouillabaisse
Source: Back to Basics by Ina Garten

1 (4- to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 8 to 10 pieces (you could also used bone-in chicken breasts, which is what I did)

Kosher 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 teaspoon saffron threads

1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

1 (15-ounce) can tomato puree

1 ½ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons Pernod

1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halfved

Rouille, for serving (recipe follows)

Crusty French 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 Dutch oven 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.

Lower the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, saffron, fennel seeds, tomato puree, chicken stock, white wine, Pernod, 2 teaspoons salt, and  teaspoon 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.

Carefully pour the sauce into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Puree until smooth.  Return the sauce to the Dutch oven and add the 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 the seasonings and serve hot in shallow bowls with big dollops of rouille and slices of crusty bread.

Rouille (Makes 1 cup)

4 large garlic cloves

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature

1 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon saffron threads

¼ 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.

Serves 3

2 Responses

  1. This and your recent recipes all look wonderful! What a great comforting dish! I’ve been on a slight commenting hiatus with my busy schedule lately… but it’s great to catch up and see what’s cooking in your kitchen!

  2. MMM This looks great!!

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