Chicken Bouillabaisse

Pour bien cuisinar if faut de bons ingrédients, un palais, du couvre et des amis.
Translation: To cook well you need good ingredients, a palace, a heart, and some friends.

I was inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe for Chicken Bouillabaisse which I have made several times along with other versions, but today I was intrigued by a few new ingredients suggestions to change it up a bit.

To begin the new year I bought a couple of new cookbooks the first of which I cooked from last night a recipe similar to Ina Garten’s chicken bouillabaisse recipe. I took a few things from Melissa’s recipe that added a fresher perkier taste fresh fennel, orange zest, and Pernod. If you want to stay with Ina’s recipe you will find the link below Melissa’s recipe as well as another that I have made.

This relatively easy recipe is a great winter dish if you collect and prepare your ingredients ahead of time…

Serves 6

3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (split breasts cut in half, drumsticks, and/or thighs), trimmed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
1 small fennel bulb, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
12 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into
¾-inch pieces
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup pastis or Pernod
1 (3-inch) strip orange zest I used another strip
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (I added two nice sprigs of tarragon)
orange zest for garnish

1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lowest positions and heat oven to 375º. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown chicken well, 5 to 8 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

2. Add leek and fennel to fat left in pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften and turn translucent about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, flour, saffron, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about
30 seconds. Slowly whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Stir in tomatoes, potatoes, wine, pastis, and orange zest. Bring to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Nestle chicken thighs and drumsticks into the pot with the skin above the surface of the liquid. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Nestle breast pieces into the pot, adjusting pieces as necessary to ensure that skin stays above the surface of the liquid. Transfer pot to upper rack and cook, uncovered until breasts register 145º and thighs/drumsticks register 160 degrees, 10 to 20 minutes.

4. Remove pot from oven and heat broiler. Return pot to oven and broil until chicken skin is crisp and breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 5 to 10 minutes (smaller pieces may cook faster than larger pieces; remove individual pieces as they reach the correct temperature and return to the pot before serving).

5. Using a large spoon, skim excess fat from the surface of the stew. Stir in tarragon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in wide, shallow bowls.

America’s Test Kitchen. The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook (The Complete ATK Cookbook Series) (p. 303). America’s Test Kitchen. Kindle Edition.