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- 6 chicken legs (split into drumsticks and thighs), skinned
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 2 4-inch-long orange peel strips (orange part only)
Add and return mixture to boil:
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 14-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
Add chicken pieces to pan in single layer, submerging in sauce; return mixture to boil. Cover pan and place in oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes.
Remove chicken from oven; keep covered. Maintain oven temperature.
Toast on a baking sheet until golden, about 12 minutes: 12 1/2-inch-thick baguette slices, brushed with olive oil.
Remove from oven. Spoon chicken and sauce into shallow bowls. Top each serving with 2 toasted baguette slices. Garnish with rouille, if desired.
Combine onion, celery, carrot, 1 tablespoon olive oil, chopped garlic, lemon zest, 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, saffron, fennel seeds, and herbes de Provence in a bowl add chicken and turn to coat. Cover bowl and refrigerate until flavors combine, at least 15 minutes.
Transfer chicken mixture to a stainless steel pot add potatoes, tomatoes, water, and white wine. Cover and bring to a boil reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Add sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Stir tarragon and liqueur into pot.
Remove half of a cooked potato and 1/4 cup liquid from the pot and place in a food processor add peeled garlic, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add egg yolk and keep processor running pour in 1/2 cup olive oil slowly until incorporated and rouille is smooth. Season with salt.
Serve bouillabaisse in warmed soup plates with a spoonful of rouille drizzled on top.
Serve in oversized soup bowls with a dollop of garlic mayonnaise and thickly sliced French bread toasts.
- In 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over mediumhigh heat until very hot. Add chicken, in batches, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side, using slotted spoon to transfer chicken pieces to bowl as they are browned.
- Add carrots and onion to Dutch oven and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl with chicken.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add fennel and water to Dutch oven, stirring until browned bits are loosened from bottom of pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fennel is tender and browned, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes.
- Return chicken and carrot mixture to Dutch oven. Add tomatoes with their juice, broth, wine, anisette, if using, thyme, salt, ground red pepper, bay leaf, and saffron heat to boiling. Cover and bake until juices run clear when thickest part of chicken is pierced with tip of knife, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Makes 4 main-dish servings..
Julia Child’s Bouillabaisse
- 1 cup minced onions
- 3/4 cup of minced leek, or 1/2 cup more onions
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves mashed garlic
- 1 lb of ripe, red tomatoes roughly chopped, or 1 1/2 cups drained canned tomatoes or 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 2 1/2 quarts water
- 6 parsley springs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp thyme or basil
- 1/2 tsp fennel
- 2 big pinches of saffron
- A 2-inch piece or 1/2 tsp dried orange peel
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 Tb salt (none if clam juice is used)
- 3 to 4 pounds fish heads, bones, and trimmings, or 1-quart clam juice, 1 1/2 quarts of water, and no salt
- 6 to 8 pounds assorted lean fish, and shellfish if you wish
- Cook the onions and leeks slowly in olive oil for 5 minutes or until almost tender but not browned.
- Stir in the garlic and tomatoes. Raise heat to moderate and cook 5 minutes more.
- Add the water, herbs, seasonings, and fish heads, bones, and trimmings to the kettle (or clam juice) and cook uncovered at a moderate boil for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Strain the soup into the saucepan, pressing juices out of ingredients. Correct seasoning, adding a bit more saffron if you feel it necessary.
- You should have 2 1/2 quarts of in a higher, rather narrow kettle.
- Bring the soup to a rapid boil 20 minutes before serving. Add lobsters, crabs, and firm-fleshed fish. Bring quickly back to the boil and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Add the tender-fleshed fish, the clams, mussels, and scallops. Bring rapidly to the boil again and boil 5 minutes more or until the fish are just tender when pierced with a fork. Do not overcook.
- Immediately lift out the fish and arrange on the platter. Correct seasoning, and pour the soup into the tureen over rounds of French bread. Spoon a ladleful of soup over the fish, and sprinkle parsley over both fish and soup. Serve immediately accompanied by the optional rouille.
To prepare the fish for cooking, have them cleaned and scaled. Discard the gills. Save heads and trimmings for fish stock. Cut large fish into crosswise slices 2 inches wide. Scrub clams. Scrub and soak the mussels. Wash scallops. If using live crab or lobster, split them just before cooking. remove the sand sack and intestinal tube from lobsters.
One-Pot Wonders: Chicken Bouillabaisse
Yasmin Fahr is a food writer, recipe developer and author of the cookbook Keeping it Simple. She has a penchant for cheesy phrases, lemons, fresh herbs, feta and cumin.
While brainstorming ideas for this column on a dreary day in December, my good friend and fellow food writer Lauren Shockey suggested using the flavors of a traditional French bouillabaisse and pairing them with chicken. I'm glad she suggested it because the recipe is easy, filling, and exactly what I crave on cold winter nights.
Bouillabaisse is a classic southern French seafood stew flavored with tomatoes, saffron, and fennel, that's served with a garlicky mayonnaise-like rouille made with bread, olive oil, and cayenne pepper. Here, I decided to use the same ingredients to make a quick chicken stew that's a little heartier but equally as tasty. French traditionalists might sigh and cringe at the sight of their beloved bouillabaisse being paired with chicken, but I would take it as a compliment: believe me, the end results are darn delicious.
The key to building up great flavor in under 30 minutes is to layer ingredients, adding each one at the right time to best impact the final product.
To get things started, I brown the chicken to get good color on it and then set it aside, using the same pan to soften the onions, fennel, and garlic, which I slice very thinly to maximize flavor extraction, scraping up all the browned chicken bits on the bottom of the pan in the juices released by the vegetables. Next up, dry white wine, which I reduce in the skillet to concentrate its flavor before adding tomatoes (whole canned tomatoes broken up with a wooden spoon provide the best flavor and texture), potatoes, and a bay leaf. I nestle the chicken pieces back into the pan, then cover the whole thing and let it simmer on the stovetop until the potatoes and chicken are tender.
While a traditional rouille is made by pounding bread with olive oil and garlic until it forms a thick, opaque emulsion, I make a quick, cheaty version using store-bought mayonnaise flavored with garlic, lemon juice, and extra-virgin olive oil, along with a pinch of saffron. You'd be amazed at how homemade it ends up tasting, and the creamy spread is fantastic to stir into your bowl as a garnish or to slather onto the bread for dipping into the soupy sauce.
The chicken may be the star, but those chunks of soup-soaked bread with garlicky mayonnaise are the side players that steal the show.
First of all, this is the 600th recipe I’ve made for this project. Six hundred!! Granted, it’s taken me a little over five years to get this far. But when you factor in two moves, having a baby, a handful of different jobs and volunteer gigs, it’s still a heck of a lot of new recipes. Even Ina didn’t publish all of these books in a five-year time span. And as the Haters’ Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog (2014 edition) points out, Ina has a [censored] amount of money and doesn’t have kids. He points out that he “ could build a sister peak to Everest if I didn’t have these kids around gumming up the works.” Truer words…
Anyway, I’m excited to reach the 600 mark. When the new cookbook came out in October, I set a goal to reach 600 recipes by the end of 2014, and here we are. Hooray!
Back to the bouillabaisse. I held off on this recipe (from Back to Basics) for a while for a number of reasons. Why wouldn’t I jump at the chance to make a one-pot chicken dish from one of the original six Contessa cookbooks? Well, there’s a lot going on here. First of all, I associate bouillabaisse with its original incarnation, which is a fish stew. Fish stew kind of skeeves me out. Second, there’s fennel seed in the recipe (which I omitted – sorry Trent). Also, there’s bone-in, skin-on chicken in a tomato sauce, which is not my favorite thing. Last but not least, there’s some weirdness in the instructions, which supports my hypothesis that Ina used a different editor for “At Home” and “Back to Basics.” The instructions are not as good, and some of the ingredient combinations are just bad. I think she may have just been trying to crank out cookbooks to meet a contract obligation. I don’t know what happened between those two and the next several books in her series, but those two remain my least favorite.
Well, some of my reservations were valid, and so I addressed those while making the recipe. But my overall hesitance about the recipe was unnecessary – it turned out beautifully, and Neil agreed. My main objection had to do with food safety. The instructions call for browning the chicken (but not completely cooking it), and then removing it to a plate and setting it aside for more than 45 minutes. I don’t know what the FDA would have to say about this, but I said no thank you. Instead of setting aside half-cooked chicken at room temperature for nearly an hour, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, put the browned chicken on a sheet pan, and continued to cook the chicken while I made the rest of the ingredients for the sauce. I don’t mess around with raw chicken. Gah.
The lack of fennel seed didn’t leave us feeling like anything was missing, but I don’t think a few sprigs of thyme or parsley would have hurt anything, either. We did not skimp on the garlic or the saffron, so there was plenty of flavor. The next time I make it, I will probably brown the chicken for longer, just for the visual effect, but the taste was really quite wonderful.
Julia Child’s Bouillabaisse de Poulet with Pistou
I think the first time I saw Julia Child was on an episode of Martha Stewart more than 15 years ago. That’s tantamount to sacrilege if you love food as much as I do and I’ve had to think about why I never knew about her. Her television show ran for a decade beginning in 1963, and that was about the time my family moved to Spain. We had no television for the four years we lived there. And once we returned to the States mesmerized by the general idea of television, we were busy watching reruns of shows we’d never seen — most of which were situation comedies.
Now that I think of it, I did watch Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet, so maybe it the culprit was our less than stellar reception in the pre-cable television days. Who knows, but it wasn’t until I was much older and wanting to put together a multiple course dinner for six with wine pairings (I knew almost nothing about wine) that I bought both volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and began to decipher its then unfamiliar recipe structure. I was fascinated by just how many ways a basic recipe could become something completely different with a few adjustments.
Years passed before I really had the opportunity to get to know Julia — I tackled her French Bread recipe and have had nothing but admiration for her since.
In celebration of her 100th birthday, I chose a recipe from Volume Two of Mastering the Art of French Cooking: “Bouillabaisse de Poulet” (Chicken Poached in White Wine with Provencal Vegetables, Herbs, and Flavorings) which included a “Pistou” (Herb, Cheese, and Garlic Finish).
If you enjoy flavorful chicken served in an amazing light sauce, you will love this classic recipe.
Here’s to Julia on her 100th birthday!
Bouillabaisse de Poule with Pistou
Bouillabaisse de Poulet Ingredients
1/2 white onion, sliced
1/2 c. sliced leek, white part only
1/4 c. olive oil
4-5 whole tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2-1/2 lbs. chicken, cut into parts
salt to taste
1-1/2 c. dry white wine
2 c. chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds, smashed
2 pinches saffron
a 2″ piece of orange peel
big pinch of pepper
pinch of cayenne
more salt to taste
2 large cloves garlic
12 large fresh basil leaves
1/4 c. Parmesan, freshly grated
3 T tomato paste
4 dashes Tabasco sauce
What is bouillabaisse made of?
Bouillabaisse is a Provençal fish soup with a tomato base.
While there’s no strict formula, this hearty seafood soup can contain a wide variety of different types of seafood and shellfish.
- Flaky white fish, such as cod, snapper, haddock or grouper
Overall, Julia Child stresses the importance of making simple bouillabaisse.
Those of you who know me well enough know that my favorite cooking mentor is Julia Child–and it’s not because of the book or movie, Julie & Julia (though I really enjoyed both).
Around this time last year I completely absorbed myself in The French Chef videos, those early years where Julia Child enlightened the American housewife about how to cook French food. I was enamored with her from the first moment–and it was literally the first time I’d ever really watched her instructional videos. She was serious about food but could also laugh at herself. She knew how to teach, how to encourage someone to attempt difficult and multi-step dishes, even those with funny French names.
For an entire month I watched every single video where Julia taught me how to make gateaus, wrap roasts properly with twine or perfectly blanch fresh green beans. Her scientific approach to cooking didn’t sound so scientific and those black and white videos of the food she prepared really made me want to jump right into the kitchen to satisfy my rumbling tummy. I just felt bad for my husband having to endure the jingly musical intro and exit tunes from each show. Other than that, he was a great sport about my new discovery, which soon became an obsession.
Fast forward to the present and my own copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 (which I bought just before hearing about the Julie/Julia Project) is my most prized possession in my library of cookbooks. I don’t even want to cook around it for fear of splattering it with the orange sauce from the Duck a’la Orange dish or all that heavy cream used in Gratine Dauphinoise. I may cook well, but I’m not so neat…
Mastering the Art of French Cooking isn’t the only good cookbook Julia ever wrote, although it is a culinary masterpiece, no doubt. My own bad timing in ‘finding’ Julia is that now because of the movie probably all her cookbooks will be expensive and unaffordable. This Spring I was lucky, however, to snatch away one book people probably just overlooked at a recent booksale: Julia Child & Company. It contains many recipes for whole menus of appetizers to salads to whole roasted meats. She explains how to buy certain cuts of meat and then how to prepare them for a crowd. From this book, I chose our first iftar (meal to break the fast) to be the Chicken Bouillabaisse.
I’ve made some changes to the original recipe. For example, it calls for enough ingredients to serve 6 people, but I halved it to serve 3. Some ingredients I didn’t have on hand so I chose my own substitutes. I also substituted white grape juice for the vermouth (alcohol). It also calls for serving this dish with Rouille, a type of sauce. For the sake of saving time I didn’t make this addition and the result was still absolutely delicious.
So, the recipe below is my own version, although you could find the original on pages 41-42 of Julia Child and Company by Julia Child. Published by Alfred A. Knopf. 1979. New York.
2 Tb. olive oil
1 chicken fryer, about 3.5 pounds, cut up into 8-16 pieces
1 cup white onion, thinly sliced
2-4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
2 bay leaves, crushed
4 large tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp. ground fennel
1 tsp. french tarragon 1/2 tsp. thyme
large pinch saffron threads, optional
2 two-inch strips dried orange peel, optional
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tb. tomato paste
2 Tb. water
1 cup white grape juice or apple juice (must be 100% juice of a high quality)
Add chicken and sauté over medium heat, approximately 10 minutes. Turn pieces several times during this process so as not to allow the chicken to brown too much.
While the chicken is cooking, prep the onions. Once the chicken appears stiffened, remove it from pan. Add the onions to the heated oil and saute for about 5 minutes.
During this time, prep the tomatoes and garlic.
Add the tomatoes and garilic to the onions. Saute for about 1 minute.
Add fennel, tarragon, thyme and any other herbs or seasonings you want to add.
Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides and add back to the pan, covering with all of the vegetables. Add tomato paste and water and blend well. On medium heat, uncovered, cook the chicken on each side for 5 minutes.
*At this point you could allow the dish to cool, then cover and refrigerate if you would like to finish it off later on in the day or the following day. Just bring to a simmer again, covered, before proceeding.*
An hour before you’d like to serve the dish, add the grape juice. Mix well, then cover and allow to simmer for one hour.
Mixture should be a good consistency- not too thick, but thin enough to serve in a soup bowl. Top with chopped fresh parsely and serve with a rustic Italian, French or pita bread for dipping. Or, serve with a side of white rice or couscous.