Bouillabaisse de Poulet (Poached Chicken Provençal)

April 19, 2011

Erotica is using a feather, pornography is using the whole chicken.
~Isabel Allende

Bouillabaisse is an iconic, magical Provençal fish stew which is derived from the Occitan compound word bolhabaissa, consisting of the the verbs bolhir (to boil) and abaissar (to simmer). While Greek and Italian culinary historians also lay claim to bouillabaisse, the simplicity of regional poached fish in an aromatic broth make a true origin difficult to pinpoint. Made in so many quaint port villages in Provence and laden with local Meditteranean fish, citrus, saffron and aromatic Provençal spices and herbs, bouillabaisse is both kitchen and fresh catch variant.

Admittedly, this is a fish soup guised in fowl clothing. But, this is no loss as many of the same robust, sublime scents and flavors linger. This recipe benefits from being made one day in advance…allow to spoon.

CHICKEN BOUILLABAISSE WITH ROUILLE

1 3 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces*
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T fresh garlic, finely minced
1/2 C yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 C fennel, coarsely chopped
1/4 C carrot, coarsely chopped

1 can (14 ozs) San Marzano tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 1/2 C dry white wine
2 C chicken stock
Splash of anise liquer–Ricard or Pernod
1 t saffron threads
1 t grated lemon zest
1 t orange zest
1/2 t fennel seeds, crushed
1 1/2 t herbes de Provence
1 bay leaf
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 kielbasa sausages, roughly sliced into 1/2″ pieces

Chopped tarragon leaves

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Add olive oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion, fennel, garlic and carrot, and stirring often, sauté until onions are tender and translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add the chicken, tomatoes, wine, stock, Ricard, saffron, lemon & orange zests, fennel, herbes de Provence, bay leaf and potatoes. There should be enough liquid to just cover the meat. Cover and bring to a gentle boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until chicken is tender, about 25-30 minutes. Add the kielbasa and cook some 5 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf and correct seasoning.

Serve the bouillabaisse in warm soup plates over steamed rice with a spoonful of rouille drizzled over and tarragon strewn atop. Pass the rest of the rouille and cooking liquid separately.

Rouille

1/4 C chopped red bell pepper
1 red chile pepper

1 medium potato, cooked (see above)
4 large, plump fresh garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 egg yolks
1 t dried thyme

1 C extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Simmer red bell and chile peppers in salted water for several minutes until tender. Drain well. With a mortar and pestle, pound simmered chiles, cooked potato, garlic, cayenne, egg yolks and thyme to form a smooth paste. While whisking, drizzle in olive oil until the rouille reaches a mayonnaise consistency. Season to taste.

*Pourboire: There are a couple of schools about the chicken prep. One espouses leaving the skin intact on a cut whole chicken and sautéeing the chicken to a light, crispy brown in olive oil and butter prior to poaching. Another suggests using leg-thigh quarters and simply skinning them before the poaching process sans sauté. A third says leave the skin on period. Rarely do Hobson’s choices inhabit a home kitchen.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Bouillabaisse de Poulet (Poached Chicken Provençal)”

  1. Recipe Chefs Says:

    Excellent post thanks for sharing. I love sharing delicious recipes. Food is something we all can enjoy. Take care.

    Delicious Cod Recipe

  2. alaycook Says:

    Thanks, feel free to peruse…once an avocation, this thing has mushroomed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: