Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
Made with chicken, mussels, and clams. Eric Ripart is the chef at La Bernardine, in NYC. His show, Avec Eric, on PBS, attempts to take restaurant quality French cooking and make it more accessible to home cooks. This recipe uses saffron which is a very expensive ingredient. I pay around $18 for a .06 oz jar in the spice aisle. However, it is a unique and beautiful seasoning which you should try to appreciate. In actuality, it only adds about a dollar per serving when added to recipes. So, in reality, it costs less to use saffron than to provide and affirmative response to, "Do you want fries with that?" I also include pressure cooker instructions for this recipe, although most of the cooking is not done under pressure. Wait - is that some kind of odd joke? Hmmm....
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Spanish saffron threads
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 (4 lb) chicken, cut into 10 pieces (breasts are quartered)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced (cut off greens, halve and slice)
- 1⁄4 cup garlic clove, sliced
- 1⁄2 cup white wine (double if not using Pernod)
- 1⁄2 cup Pernod (optional)
- 1 cup tomatoes, strained (puree diced canned tomatoes, push some through a strainer, use liquid and reserve solids to add to a)
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb tiny new potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
- 1 lb mussels, rinsed and beards removed
- 2 dozen littleneck clams, rinsed
- 2 egg yolks
- 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick and toasted
- Heat chicken broth and saffron, over low heat, in a small saucepan on the back burner (this allows the saffron to steep in the broth producing the best flavor and color).
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or pressure cooker), over medium high heat; sear chicken pieces in batches, set aside (it is important that chicken is patted dry before placing in hot pot to get a good sear and for it not to stick).
- Add the sliced onion, fennel, and garlic to pot and saute, stirring occasionally, until they start to caramelize around the edges, about 5 minutes or so.
- Stir in the wine and Pernod, if using, scraping browned bits off the bottom of pot, and continue cooking until the liquid is almost evaporated.
- Add the strained tomatoes, chicken stock and saffron, and bring to a simmer; return chicken pieces and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Lower heat to medium low, cover, and let simmer until chicken is partially cooked, 20 to 30 minutes (pressure cooker: let come to pressure, reduce heat and cook 15 minutes).
- Add the potatoes, cover, and continue cooking until chicken is fully cooked and potatoes are tender, another 20 to 25 minutes (pressure cooker: 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, make the aioli by processing egg yolks, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor; slowly drizzle in olive oil until thick and emulsified.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, add mussels and clams to soup and simmer until they open, about 5 minutes; taste and addt salt and pepper, if needed.
- Spoon bouillabasse into bowls, garnish with parsley; serve with aioli and toasted baguette slices.