What did Venus feed to Vulcan? A bouillabaisse soup. This kind of soup was made in mythology as well as in Marseille by the Phoceans around 600BC. The name comes from the method of preparation because the ingredients are not added all at once. The broth is first boiled (bolh) and then the different kinds of fish are added one by one and the heat is lowered (abaissa). Well the fish variety is delicious, but you can also make a Chicken Bouillabaisse. The sauce is delicious!!!! I have my cooking idol to thank for this: The Barefoot Contessa. But I did want to share it with you in case you haven’t discovered it for yourselves.
1 (4-5 lb.) chicken, cut into 10 pieces
1 Tblsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves (I used dried)
1 large head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
1 Tsp. saffron threads (I bought the $7.00 variety that comes in little packets)
1 Tsp. whole fennel seed
1 (15 oz.) can tomato puree (I liquefied in blender a 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes)
1 ½ C. chicken stock
1 C. dry white wine (I used dry vermouth)
3 Tblsp. Pernod (I took 3 Tblsp. Vodka and soaked 1 broken star anise in it for several hours.)
1 lb. baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
Rouille, for serving—recipe follows
Crusty French bread for serving
Wash and pat dry chicken. Season it generously with S&P and rosemary.
Heat 2 tblsp. olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven and brown chicken pieces until nicely browned all over (about 5-7 minutes). Transfer chicken to a plate; set aside.
Lower the heat to medium low and add the garlic, saffron, fennel seeds, tomato puree, chicken stock, white wine, Pernod, 2 tsp. salt(I used much less) and 1 tsp. 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 oven to 300 degree.
Carefully pour the sauce in a food processor or blender fitted with steel blades. Puree until smooth. Return the sauce to the Dutch oven; add the sliced potatoes and browned chicken pieces with their juices; stir carefully.
Cover the pot and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until potatoes are tender and the chicken is done.
Serve hot in shallow bowls with big dollops of Rouille and slices of crusty bread.
4 garlic cloves
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 ½ tblsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. saffron thread
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 C. olive oil
Place the garlic and salt on a cutting board and mince together. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender fitted with steel blades. Add the egg yolk, lemon juice, saffron, and red pepper flakes; process till smooth.
With the machine running, pour the olive oil in a thin, steady stream through the feed tube to make a thick mayonnaise emulsion. (I actually put everything in the blender and it came out fine.)
Put rouille to a serving bowl and store in the frig until ready to serve.
The Food Network Kitchens caution about using a raw egg yolk because of the SLIGHT risk of Salmonella, etc. To reduce the risk, they recommend that you use fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells. (I’ve used raw egg yolks forever and have never had a problem; but I guess there could always be a first time.)