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Chicken Bouillabaisse

This dish, made with chicken, kielbasa sausage and potatoes, takes its inspiration from the famous fish stew of the South of France and contains all its classic seasonings, including saffron. An expensive spice, saffron is essential to this dish, and the best comes from Spain. Pepin serves his chicken bouillabaisse with a traditional rouille, a garlicky mayonnaise seasoned with cayenne and paprika.

Yes, there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but it is a fast, easy dish to assemble, and it cooks in about 30 minutes. It is a meal in itself when followed by a salad and some cheese.

Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped carrot
  • 4 chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds total), skin and fat discarded
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and quartered
  • 1 kielbasa sausage (about 10 ounces), cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Pernod or Ricard liqueur (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon, chives or parsley
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of salt


  1. Mix the olive oil, garlic, saffron, lemon zest, salt, pepper, fennel seeds, herbes de Provence, onion, celery and carrot in a large bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook.
  2. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a large saucepan. Add the tomatoes, wine, water and potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes longer. If adding Pernod, stir it in now with the tarragon.
  3. Transfer 2 of the cooked potato quarters and 1/4 cup of liquid from the saucepan to a food processor. Add the garlic, cayenne and paprika; process for 10 seconds. Add the egg yolk. With the processor on, pour in the olive oil, and process for a few seconds, until incorporated. Season with the salt.
  4. Serve the bouillabaisse in warm soup plates with a spoonful of the rouille drizzled on top.
Contributed By Published February 2011

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