It's easy and it's a one dish meal -- something that I always like. One of the key ingredients of bouillabaisse (whether seafood or chicken) is saffron. Saffron is expensive, you use but a little bit at a time for it is extremely rare and takes many crocus plants to make an ounce of saffron.
Saffron crocus bloom in the garden at Linderhof. A fall bloomer, they do brighten dreary fall days. Planted long ago, they have survived other things planted around them (for I often forget they are there) and we even had the garden plowed once and still they came up and bloomed.
Even though we do have saffron crocus in the garden, we don't even have enough to make a decent pinch. But it's fun to grow them. Just as it is fun to eat chicken bouillabaisse!
The recipe from Ina Garten and it is a winner. A good use for the thighs and legs that accompany chicken breasts.
1 (4 to 5-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
Good olive oil
1 large head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 (15 ounce) can tomato puree
1 1/2 cups good chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons Pernod
1 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
Rouille, for serving, recipe follows
Crusty French bread, for serving
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, until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is done. Check the seasonings and serve hot in shallow bowls with big dollops of Rouille and slices of crusty bread.
4 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
*1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup good olive oil
Place the garlic and salt on a cutting board and mince together. Transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the egg yolk, lemon juice, saffron, and red pepper flakes. Process until smooth.
With the machine running, pour the olive oil in a thin, steady stream through the feed tube to make a thick mayonnaise emulsion. Transfer the rouille to a serving bowl and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.