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Chicken Bouillabaisse Recipe

An interesting version of the famous Mediterranean fish dish.
This has all the background flavours, and is delicious.
It also avoids the complication of having to seek out the varieties of fish needed to make the traditional dish. It should be served with a bowl of "Rouille; Cheats" and French Bread.


Ingredients for 4 people as a main course:

- 4 Chicken leg & thigh pieces (free-range if possible)

- A big pinch of Saffron strands (about ½ a small sachet)

- 2 fl oz/50ml Pernod or Ricard

- 1 Star Anise

- 4 fl oz/100ml Olive Oil

- 1 big Onion, peeled and thinly sliced

- 2 cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely-chopped

- 1 head of Fennel (about 5 oz/150gr), quartered, then blanched for 1 minute in boiling water - the 'refreshed' under very cold water in a colander

- 1 x 400gr tin of chopped tomatoes

- 1 lb/500gr waxy-type Potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces of equal size (Desirée or Nicola"s are ideal; floury potatoes, like King Edwards will simply fall to bits)

- A few sprigs of Parsley, washed, then roughly chopped

- Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper - to taste

Equipment needed: A deep frying pan or wok


- Put the chicken pieces into a bowl with the Pernod/Ricard, star anise, saffron and half the olive oil.

- Season with freshly-ground pepper and marinate for a minimum of 1 hour, but preferably overnight in the fridge, turning the chicken over half-way-through.

- The next day - heat the remaining olive oil in a deep frying pan or wok and gently fry the onions, blanched fennel until they are lightly golden. Add the chopped garlic for the last minute (any earlier and it might burn, and become bitter).

- Add the tomatoes, and bring to a gentle simmer - cook for 5 minutes.

- Add the chicken pieces and their marinade to the casserole, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and enough water to cover the chicken.

- Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

- Add the potato pieces and season the dish with a little salt. Mix well together.

- Continue to simmer, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes.

- Remove the chicken and big vegetable pieces.

- Reduce the remaining liquid by half, then check the seasoning.

The dish can be prepared ahead up to this point and re-heated. Or if wishing to serve now, return the removed chicken and vegetables to the sauce and warm them through.

Serve in a bowl with 'Cheats Rouille' and French bread.

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