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Published January 25th, 2017
Chicken "Bouillabaisse"
Chicken Bouillabaisse with Rouille

(Serves 4)
Recipes Courtesy of Rosa Jackson, Les Petits Farcis, Nice France
Notes from cooking instructor Rosa Jackson: "I first tasted this dish at a restaurant up in the hills of Nice. It has the flavours of the Provenéal fish stew bouillabaisse, but with chicken replacing the fish. The chef wouldn't give me the recipe but with a little research and tinkering I came up with this version, which is possibly better than his!
Susie's notes: I wondered about a chicken bouillabaisse when we always think of this dish incorporating fish and seafood, but the flavors worked perfectly with chicken and I found it to be delicious. I also opted to make the homemade tomato coulis, which was really easy and fun."
1 free-range chicken, cut into pieces, or 4 free-range chicken legs, each cut in half
2 big pinches saffron threads
1/3 cup pastis (or other anise-flavored alcohol) (80 ml)
1/3 cup white wine (80 ml)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion
1 fennel bulb
1 3/4 cups tomato coulis, homemade* or store bought
Bouquet garni of fresh fennel leaves (optional), a few sprigs flat-leaf parsley and a strip of orange peel, tied together
Rouille (see recipe below)
Skin the chicken if you like, or score the skin so that the flesh absorbs the marinade. In a separate bowl, stir together the saffron, pastis, white wine, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Set aside for a few minutes (or longer) so that the saffron releases its color. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Turn the chicken with your hands to thoroughly coat, cover with plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator to marinate for 12 - 24 hours. Turn the chicken at least once as it marinates.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Dry the chicken pieces on paper towels, reserving the marinade. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the drained chicken pieces and brown carefully on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Meanwhile, cut the peeled onion and fennel in half, removing the core of the fennel, and slice thinly. Remove the chicken to a Dutch oven and reduce heat under the skillet. Pour away any excess fat, keeping about 2 tablespoons. Add the onion and fennel slices to the frying pan along with a large pinch of salt. Sauté until softened and pale gold. Pour the reserve marinade over the onion and fennel, turning the heat to high. Once it has reduced until almost syrupy, add the tomato coulis and cook for a few minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Bury the bouquet garni among the chicken pieces and carefully pour the tomato sauce over the chicken. Season to taste and cover with the lid. Bake (or simmer on the stove) for about 45 minutes, until the chicken is just cooked through. Avoid cooking too long as this makes for dry chicken. Serve with rouille, a spicy garlic mayonnaise (see recipe).
* To make your own tomato coulis, cut ripe, fresh tomatoes into quarters and place in a saucepan with a pinch each of salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle bubble and reduce until thickened. Strain through a food mill.

(Makes about 1 cup)
Recipe Courtesy of Rosa Jackson, Les Petits Farcis, Nice France
This spicy garlic mayonnaise is traditionally served with fish soup, but it also accompanies Rosa's chicken "bouillabaisse." Rosa says to spread it on toasted slices of baguette, sprinkled with grated gruyere and float in the soup. I spooned it over the chicken bouillabaisse, and also used it as the dipping sauce for the artichokes I served with the bouillabaisse.
2 garlic cloves
Coarse sea salt
1 fresh chili pepper, 1 teaspoon chili paste or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg yolk
1 slice dry bread soaked in milk or water
3/4 cup olive oil (200 ml)
1/2 lemon
1 pinch saffron, crushed and soaked in a little warm water
Freshly ground pepper
Crush the garlic with the sea salt and chili pepper in a mortar. Add the egg yolk and the bread after squeezing out the excess milk. Add the olive oil drop by drop, always turning the pestle in the same direction. The mixture should thicken like mayonnaise. Squeeze in a little lemon juice to taste, add the saffron and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Chicken Bouillabaisse sliced onions and fennel Photo Susie Iventosch

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