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Playing Chicken Bouillabaisse

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  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped carrot
  • 4 chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds total), skin and fat removed
  • 1/2 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 5 red or Yukon Gold potatoes (about 12 ounces total), peeled and halved
  • 1 piece (about 10 ounces) kielbasa sausage, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Pernod or Ricard (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, chives or parsley
For the Rouille
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • Salt, to taste


Serves: 4


For the Bouillabaisse: Mix the oil, garlic, saffron, lemon rind, salt, pepper, fennel seeds, herbes de Provence, onion, celery and carrot in a large bowl. Add the chicken thighs and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook.
Transfer the contents of the bowl to a stainless steel pot and add the tomatoes, wine, water and potatoes. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and boil gently for 25 minutes. Add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes longer. If adding Pernod or Ricard, stir it in now with the tarragon.

For the Rouille: Remove half a cooked potato and 1/4 cup liquid from the pot and place in a food processor with the garlic, cayenne and paprika. Process for 10 seconds then add the egg yolk. With the processor running, slowly add the oil until it is incorporated. Taste for salt and adjust, if needed.

Serve the bouillabaisse in warmed soup plates with a spoonful of the rouille drizzled on top.


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