This is a classic, classic French dish and this version is superb.
It is from my mother and it is one I had as a child and have then cooked as an adult.
It is pretty impossible not to love and served with the aioli-buttered toasts and the boiled baby potatoes, this is a warm, rich dinner in.
I sometimes substitute chicken thigh for a jointed chicken, though this isn’t a substitute you should make in this instance. Cutting the chicken off the bone is half the romance of the dish, if that can in anyway be a romantic thing.
If you’re after a French theme, you can do a whole lot worse than a Bouillabaise.
1 cup chopped leeks
1 cup chopped fennel
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups peeled and finely chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup Pernod (we used Ouzo)
6 sprigs thyme
Good pinch of cayenne
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp saffron threads
Chicken pieces from jointed chicken (including skin)
Baby potatoes, boiled
Toasted baguette slices
- Bring the stock to a simmer, remove from the heat, add the saffron and set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan, auté the chicken in a little olive oil over a medium heat until golden all over; remove and set aside.
- Pour off the fat, lower the heat and sauté the leeks, fennel and garlic until soft. Add the stock and saffron and deglaze the pan.
- Add the tomatoes, wine, Pernod and thyme, bring to a fast simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pan together with any juices and simmer for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.
- Lower the heat, season with salt and cayenne; add a little olive oil.
- Serve with the potatoes, baguette slices and aioli.