One of my goals for this summer is to try cooking as many new things as possible. I love skimming through my piles of cookbooks. I really like Jacques Pepin – I remember watching him cook with Julia Child on PBS. He made French cooking seem so effortless and fun. I have a couple of his cookbooks, and I especially like Jacques Pepin Fast Food My Way (2004). It’s fun to read and the recipes actually appear manageable for the home cook. Last night, I tried his recipe for chicken bouillabaisse. In Pepin’s words, “This dish, made with chicken, kielbasa, and potatoes, takes its inspiration from the famous fish stew of the South of France.” I adapted his recipe to make it my own. It was a super delicious! Even through his migraine, my husband kept opening up the pot and putting more on his plate – that’s a definite sign success! Here’s the run-down:
Chicken Bouillabaisse Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon herbs de Provence
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 5-6 large mushrooms, sliced
- 2 chicken thighs (skin and fat removed)
- 2 chicken legs
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Chenin Blanc)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 large potato, diced into large cubes
- 1 kielbasa sausage, sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley
First, mix the olive oil, garlic, saffron, lemon zest, salt, pepper, fennel seeds, herbes de Provence, onion, celery, and carrot in a large bowl.
Add the chicken and combine. (At this point, if you are doing meal prep, you can cover this mixture and refrigerate it until ready to cook.)
Put the entire mixture in a stainless steel pot and add the tomatoes, wine, water, potatoes, and mushrooms. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Add the sausage and let it cook, covered, for another 5-10 minutes. Add the parsley.
Next, make the rouille, which Jacques Pepin describes as “a garlicky mayonnaise seasoned with cayenne and paprika.”
- 3-4 cubes cooked potato from bouillabaisse
- 1/4 cup liquid from bouillabaisse pot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- dash salt as needed
Put the potato, cooking liquid, garlic, cayenne, and paprika into a food processor (I used our Vitamix). Process for 10 seconds. Add the egg yolk. Then run the processor, and slowly pour in the olive oil and process for a few seconds until the oil is incorporated. Add dash of salt if necessary.
Jacques Pepin says he serves the chicken bouillabaisse with a spoonful of the rouille drizzled on top. As it is a French dish, I can totally picture serving this with hunks of baguette to sop up the soup. Since I made it my own, however, I served it with white rice and grilled asparagus. I used plates this first time, but in the future, I will definitely use shallow soup bowls. The bouillabaisse was full of flavor, and you can certainly add other vegetables. Next time, I’m going to add bell peppers and a dash of red pepper flakes. The rouille is quite garlicky and could be used as a dipping sauce as well – it went great with the asparagus! Enjoy!