Nov 20, 2008
Last Saturday was the first serious rain of the season in San Francisco. It was a great excuse to be lazy. I stayed indoors and caught up on the Food Channel. Ina Garten from Barefoot Contessa had a great episode on how to reinvent chicken. Luckily for me, I had all the key ingredients to make her Chicken Bouillabaisse. Conveniently, the day before a friend of mine gave me two of the most luscious rosemary sprigs I have ever seen. The sprigs were bright green, and smelled divine.
This is a great twist on a classic dish. Bouillabaisse is traditionally made with seafood. Here, chicken is seasoned with rosemary, salt and pepper. The sauce is created by adding fennel seeds, saffron, white wine, tomato sauce and chicken broth to create a wonderfully deep, rustic sauce for the chicken to bake in. The fennel seeds add a warmth and sweetness to the sauce and the saffron gives the sauce it’s deep earthy color. Make sure you have warm crusty bread on hand to soak up any left-over sauce.
||(4 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces
||Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
||tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
||tablespoons olive oil
||large head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
||teaspoon saffron threads
||teaspoon whole fennel seeds
||(15 ounce) can tomato puree
||cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
||cup dry white wine
||pound baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
1 hour 50 minutes
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 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 F.
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 sliced potatoes and browned chicken pieces with their juices. Stir carefully.
Cover the pot and bake for 45 to 55 minutes on 400, until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is done. Check the seasonings and serve hot in shallow bowls and with slices of crusty bread.
I didn’t have any pernod, so I left it out. I also substituted the white wine, with white zinfandel (as I didn’t want to go out in the rain). The flavors worked perfectly.
Main Course and Chicken
Saffron and Fennel seed
Other Ingredients Used