From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Fall is wonderful in its abundance. In a scant few weeks prices will again begin to rise, but for now, the fruits and vegetables with which I love to cook are affordable and encourage generosity in the kitchen. Once our first rains fall, I put away the recipes of summer and replace them with those that speak to cooler weather. It's time for robust soups and stews and casseroles. It is especially time for bouillabaisse. Most of us think of bouillabaisse as a heady Mediterranean stew that's made with fish and served with grilled bread and thickened with rouille, a red pepper mayonnaise. Julia Child and Patricia Wells both take the elements of that classic bouillabaise, but replace the fish with chicken and make what they call a "bouillabaisse de poulet." The results are delicious, perfect for family and friends who enjoy checkered tablecloth fare. The dish should be assembled a full 24 hours before serving. It takes that long for the flavors of the Pernod and fennel to permeate the chicken. The good news is that all the work is done the day before the dish is cooked and you really are free to enjoy the company of your family and friends. Like many old French recipes, this one, designated peasant fare, requires the purse of a prince to assemble. Pernod, fennel bulbs and saffron come dear, but they are absolutely necessary for the success of this dish. For what it's worth, this is one of my ten favorite meals. If you decide to make this, your mindset must be "in for a penny, in for a pound." You will not regret it. You can find the recipe, here. Bon appetit!
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