Chicken Bouillabaisse

Chicken Bouillabaisse

Serves 4 to 6

10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each thigh cut into 4 pieces

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

2 large onions, sliced thin

4 garlic cloves, minced fine

6 scallions, white and green parts sliced separately

1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained

2-1/2 cups dry white wine

3 cups low-sodium chicken stock

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)

½ teaspoon saffron threads

½ teaspoon fennel seeds, bashed up a little in a mortar and pestle

1 lemon, peel cut off in strips with a vegetable peeler, then juiced (keep separate)

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

1 14-ounce can small white beans, rinsed and drained

Optional baguette with rouille

Rouille (garlic mayonnaise, see this recipe for homemade and doctored store-bought versions)

1 baguette, sliced and toasted

Combine the wine and chicken stock in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce the so it’s still boiling and cook until the liquid is reduced to 4 cups (about 25 minutes).  Add the drained tomatoes and the saffron, plus the dried thyme (hold off on the fresh thyme if you’re using it).  Cover the pan and set it aside.

While the wine and stock are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven, then add the chicken thigh pieces.  Cook for about 4 minutes, then turn and cook the other side.  You may have to do this in batches, depending on your pot.  Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and put it in a bowl.  Add the remaining olive oil, heat it up, and add the onion and white slices of scallion, plus the fresh thyme (if using) and the fennel seed, and about ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Cook until the onions just start to get a little brown on the edges (about 10 minutes, stirring often), then add the garlic and the lemon peel and cook for a minute.  Add the wine/stock/tomato mixture, then the chicken.  Heat until boiling, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for a half hour, until the chicken is cooked.

Remove the lid, then add the drained beans, scallion greens, and a tablespoon of lemon juice.  Cook for a few minutes to heat the beans, then taste for salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Ladle into big bowls and drizzle each bowl with a little olive oil, serve with the baguette slices slathered with as much rouille as you like.