Chicken Bouillabaisse Recipe


Courtesy of Manischewitz and Jacques Pepin.

“This recipe, made with chicken thighs (instead of fish), kielbasa sausage, and potatoes, gets its inspiration from the original and contains all its classic seasonings, including saffron, made from the pistils of crocus flowers. This is an expensive spice, but essential to this dish, and the best saffron, in my opinion, comes from Spain .I’ve also added a little tarragon at the end; although not absolutely essential, tarragon has a slight “anise” taste that I like and grows plentifully in my garden. To reinforce this licorice flavor, I always add a splash of Pernod or Ricard at the last minute, although this ingredient is optional. I serve my chicken bouillabaisse with a traditional rouille, spooning it directly onto the plates of the guests. 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 practically a meal in itself.”

– Chef Jacques Pépin


4 chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds), with skin and fat removed
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
½ teaspoon saffron pistils
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon herbes de Provence
½ cup coarsely chopped onion
¼ cup coarsely chopped celery
¼ cup coarsely chopped carrot
½ can (14 ½ ounces) diced tomato (about 1 cup)
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup Manischewitz Chicken Broth
5 potatoes (about 3/4 pound), peeled and halved
1 piece kosher-type sausage (about 10 ounces), cut into 4 pieces
2 teaspoons Pernod or Ricard (optional)
3 teaspoons chopped tarragon, chives, or parsley

Ingredients for the Rouille:

½ of one of the cooked potatoes (see above)
¼ cup liquid and solids from the soup
2 large cloves garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 large egg yolk
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Dash of salt, if needed


1. Mix the first 12 ingredients together in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to proceed. (Assembly can be done just prior to cooking or up to half a day ahead.)
2. At cooking time, transfer the contents of the bowl to a stainless steel pot, and add the tomatoes, wine, Manischewitz Chicken Broth, and potatoes.
3. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, and boil gently for 25 minutes. Add the sausage, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
4. Serve the bouillabaisse in warm soup plates with a spoonful of the rouille drizzled on top.

Directions for the Rouille:

Put the cooked potato half, ¼ cup soup liquid and solids, garlic, cayenne, and paprika into the bowl of a food processor, and process for 10 seconds. Add the egg yolk. Then, with the processor running, pour in the oil, and process for a few seconds, or until incorporated. Taste for salt, and add, if needed.

About Rabbi Michael Sternfield

Michael Sternfield has been a Reform rabbi for 40 years, most recently serving at Chicago Sinai Congregation from 1995 until 2013. He served for 20 years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, and briefly as the leader of the Durban, South Africa Progressive Jewish Congregation during South Africa’s historic transition to multi-racial democracy. He is now based in Los Angeles, California.