This month I chose a cookbook in my collection to cook from and the winner is The Essential New York Times Cookbook a wonderful collection of recipes to suit everyone.
For a slight departure from the usual Sunday chicken dinners was a pretty easy chicken bouillabaisse adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook. The homestyle comfort food dish was very good and a keeper. I had several chicken drumsticks and a couple of big chicken breasts so I used those parts instead of a whole chicken (I think that all in all I had 4 pounds). I decided to make the dinner a day ahead and to remove the chicken from the bones so all that I had to do was reheat the saucy chicken dish and cook the potatoes for a casual company dinner. I simply forgot about the toast aspect for the dish because I had already made a pan of corn bread that I thought would go nicely with the chicken dinner so the next time I’ll actually make the toast…
Chicken Bouillabaisse slightly adapted from NYT Kindle Edition
3-to 3 ½-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces (I had about 4 pounds of chicken drumsticks and a very large chicken breast), season with salt and pepper
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled, all but 2 cloves thinly sliced
½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 pinches saffron threads
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
⅔ cup diced ripe tomato or well-drained canned tomato
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons all-purpose flour *Option (I like to use Wondra, add a little bit at a time and whisk into the sauce)
3 ½ cups chicken broth
*Optional grated orange zest (1 Cara Cara orange)
8 small Yukon Gold potatoes (I had tiny potatoes, did not peel, seasoned with salt and pepper and a touch of butter everyone served themselves)
1 tablespoon boiling water
One 6-inch piece baguette
1 large egg yolk
One 6-inch strip orange peel
2 tablespoons Pernod or Ricard
1. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a deep sauté pan or casserole large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer (or brown in batches if your pan isn’t large enough) and place over high heat until starting to smoke. Add the chicken skin side down and cook until golden brown, turning to brown both sides. Remove the chicken to a platter and lower the heat to medium. Add the onions, leeks, sliced garlic, and fennel and cook, stirring, until starting to soften.
2. Sprinkle on 2 pinches saffron and the cayenne and cook for a few minutes longer, then add the tomato and tomato paste and cook for a minute more. Sprinkle with the flour, stir, and then return the chicken to the pan, along with any juices from the platter. Add the broth, bring to a simmer, and cook for 12 minutes. Remove the 4 breast pieces from the pan. Continue cooking the remaining chicken for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until done, then remove from the pan. Skim any foam from the surface of the sauce, and set the pan aside.
3. While the chicken cooks, place the potatoes in a saucepan, add salted water to cover, and boil until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. Peel when cool enough to handle.
4. Place the remaining pinch of saffron in a small dish and pour the boiling water over it.
5. Slice the piece of baguette lengthwise into 4 slices, and toast. Rub with 1 garlic clove and brush with a little oil.
6. Place the egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Force the remaining garlic clove through a press— or just finely chop it— and add it to the yolk, beating with a whisk. Strain in the water from steeping the saffron, whisking. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil, whisking vigorously, until the mixture thickens to mayonnaise consistency. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
7. Add the orange peel, Pernod, and thyme to the pan the chicken cooked in, and simmer for 5 minutes; then remove the orange peel and thyme. Season the sauce with salt and cayenne. Add the potatoes and chicken to the pan and reheat.
8. Serve the chicken and potatoes in warm soup plates with the sauce. Spread some of the garlic-saffron mayonnaise (aioli) on the toasted baguette slices (reserve the remaining aioli for another use), and place 1 alongside each serving.
Hesser, Amanda (2010-10-25). The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century (Kindle Locations 20371-20387). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.