Chicken Bouillabaisse with Rouille

A quick, hearty, satisfying meal for those chilly, windy almost-Winter days. You really don't need to serve this with anything else – it's a meal in itself. I didn't have chicken thighs so I substituted three chicken breasts and marinated in the fridge for about 3 hours (can be marinated up to 8 hours). Serves 4.


4 large skinless chicken thighs (about 1-3/4 lbs.)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. coarsely chopped onion
1 rib of chopped celery
1 coarsely chopped carrot
1 T. coarsely chopped garlic
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. saffron
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. herbes de Provence
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
(1) 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. dry white wine
3/4 c. chicken broth (or water)
5 red or yellow Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3/4 lb. total), peeled and cut into 4 pieces each
1 kielbasa sausage (about 10 oz.), cut into 2" pieces
2 T. chopped tarragon (or parsley or chives)
Splash (2 tsp.) of Pernod (an anise flavored liqueur) *optional

1/4 c. liquid from the soup
1/2 of one of the cooked potatoes in the stew
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 egg yolk
1/2 c. olive oil
Dash of salt, if needed

In a large bowl combine the olive oil with the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, lemon zest, saffron, fennel seeds and herbes de Provence. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, toss to coat and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Or marinate in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

When ready to cook, put the chicken and marinade ingredients in a Dutch oven or stainless steel pot and add the tomatoes, wine, chicken broth (or water) and potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer gently until the potatoes are half cooked, about 25 minutes. Add the kielbasa and tarragon (and the Pernod if using) and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes longer.

Transfer half of a cooked potato half to a food processor along with 1/4 c. of the cooking liquid from the stew. Add the garlic, paprika and cayenne and process for 10 seconds. Add the egg yolk. Then, with the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin stream and process until smooth and creamy. Taste and season with salt if needed.

Serve the bouillabaisse in shallow bowls with a few spoonfuls of the rouille drizzled on top.

– Jacques Pépin, "Fast Food My Way"