Bouillabaisse

For 10 to 12 people.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, and 1 leek, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, parsley)
pinch of fennel seeds or branch of fennel
2 lb fish heads and backbones
3 quarts of water
4 cups of crushed tomatoes (about 2 lb)
2 Tbsp of sun dried tomato paste
2 cups of white wine
pinch of saffron/ salt and pepper

Marinate for 2 hours in 1/4  cup of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of Pernod, cut everything in 2 inch chunks:

1 lb of flavorful fish (sea bass, snapper, cod, haddock, or halibut)
1 lb of delicate fish (whiting, perch, sole)
1/2 lb of scallops, 1/2 lb of shrimps
1 lb of monk fish or lobster pieces

For the stock

  • In a large saucepan heat the oil.
  • Add onion, celery, carrots, leek, bouquet garni, fennel.
  • Cook for 5 minutes and add water.
  • Bring to a boil, add the fish bones and simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Pass through a sieve forcing as much liquid as you can from the vegetable mixture.
  • Reduce to concentrate the flavors if necessary.
  • Reserve 1 cup of stock for the rouille.

For the Bouillabaisse

  • To the above stock add the tomatoes, wine, saffron, salt and pepper.
  • Add the marinate juices.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Bring to a boil before adding the monk fish or lobster.
  • Boil briskly 5 minutes.
  • Add the delicate fish and boil again 5 minutes.
  • Finally, add the scallops and shrimp and boil 3 minutes.
  • (Optional) cook the shrimp separately with garlic and parsley, peel them and deglaze the pan with some wine (use the shell of the shrimp in the wine).

Rouille

1 dried hot chili
1 potato, sliced thin
1 cup fish stock, reduced
1/4 cup roasted red pepper
4 cloves garlic and  few leaves of fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil

  • Cook chili pepper and potato in fish stock until tender.
  • Pour into food processor with roasted pepper, garlic and basil.
  • Blend until smooth then add olive oil bit by bit.

Croûtes

  • Preheat oven 325°F.
  • Cut about 24 slices of French bread and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Lightly coat both sides of bread with olive oil.
  • Turn and bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Rub each slice with garlic.

Bouillabaisse de poulet

To serve 6.

It was just a matter of time before someone had the good idea to use the flavors of all the ingredients in a bouillabaisse and replace the fish with chicken. So here goes the mixture of onions, garlic, tomatoes, fennel and saffron. To make it into a real casserole, the vegetable of choice here is the fennel bulbs.

4 large tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded and chopped
2 large onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 large fennel bulbs with feathery leaves attached, chopped
3 Tbsp of olive oil
1/3 cup of licorice-flavored aperitif such as Ricard or Pernod
1 generous pinch of saffron
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 tsp of dry thyme
4 imported bay leaves
salt and pepper
6 chicken legs with the skin removed
1 lb of boiling potatoes peeled and quartered
2 cups of chicken broth (preferably homemade) 

  • The day before you plan to serve the dish, combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic, fennel, olive oil, aperitif, saffron, herbs and seasonings in a large covered casserole.
  • Stir to blend.
  • Add the chicken legs and stir to coat the chicken.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  • At least 1 hour before cooking the casserole, remove it from the refrigerator.
  • Stew the chicken in its marinade, partially covered to avoid boiling over medium heat for about half an hour.
  • Add the potatoes and chicken stock and simmer for an additional 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Taste for seasoning.
  • Serve in warm shallow soup bowls.