I didn’t know you could make a chicken bouillabaisse. My deteriorating knowledge of the French language had me convinced that “bouillabaisse” shared some meaning with seafood. I was wrong. Before I cooked this for dinner I poked around on the history of the fish stew to see if I was missing something. I got this from Wikipedia (and if it’s there, it must be true):
Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille. The French and English form bouillabaisse comes from the Provençal Occitan word bolhabaissa, a compound that consists of the two verbs bolhir (to boil) and abaissar (to reduce heat, i.e., simmer).
So, it turns out bouillabaisse is a lot like lasagna. You can do pretty much whatever you want with it, as long as it includes noodles and cheese, but an authentic bouillabaisse has fish and an authentic lasagna has ricotta and tomato sauce.
WHAT WORKED: It was a pretty easy dinner to put together. I skipped the aioli, as author Yasmin Fahr recommends in her recipe. I just know that The Wife would have skipped it. As a standalone stew, it was fine.
WHAT DIDN’T: I used drumsticks exclusively this time. Next time, I would go exclusively with chicken thighs. Oh, and I wouldn’t forget to buy bread. Errrgh.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: She approved, though I don’t remember what she said.
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Very likely. As I had a ton of veggies and tomatoes left over. I froze it for another time.
Easy One-Pot Chicken Bouillabaisse
Adapted from Yasmin Fahr at Serious Eats
- 2 lbs. chicken drumsticks and thighs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. light olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 fennel head, cored and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 (26-28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 cup homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced (about 3 cups)
- Pinch of saffron
- 1 dried bay leaf
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat until it smokes lightly. Add the chicken and cook 4 minutes. Turn and cook 1 additional minute. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion, fennel and the garlic to the pan. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Add a cup of white wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 90 seconds.
Add tomatoes, using a wooden spoon to break them apart in the pan. Pour in the chicken stock, and add potatoes, saffron and a bay leaf. Set the chicken back on top, cover, and cook until the potatoes and chicken are done, 20 minutes.