The Chicken Bouillabaisse recipe (Bouillabaisse de Poulet) is an American variation of the traditional French Bouillabaisse. A rich and savory stew with a blend of vegetables and seasoning that will have you making this comfort food dish over and over again.

You like my tarragon french chicken stew, a very flavorful parsnip and leek soup, slow cooker Moroccan chicken stew, and my favorite classic chicken and dumplings.

Bowl of Bouillabaisse stew made with chicken.

This is a quick and easy Chicken Bouillabaisse, served with a simple garlicky mayonnaise on the side or a dollop of Rouille. I use a Garlic Spread Dip from Trader Joe’s to keep it easy.

Main Ingredients Notes

The full list of ingredients, detailed instructions, and recipe notes for this quick and easy chicken bouillabaisse are included in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Chicken, fennel, garlic, leeks, and other ingredients to makea chicken bouillabaisse stew.
  • Chicken thighs are very flavorful, or you can use different pieces of chicken like a chicken breast or a combination.
  • Use both the white and green parts of the Leeks.
  • The fennel bulbs should be cut lengthwise in half and sliced thin. The fennel seeds can also be sprinkled into the stew while cooking
  • Red potatoes are used; however, Russet or Yukon gold potatoes can also be used.
  • Use low sodium Chicken stock or broth should be used. Vegetable broth can also be used. For a thinner Bouillabaisse, increase the broth.
  • The dry white wine you use should be a wine you enjoy drinking.
  • I prefer buying organic if available and affordable when using fresh Orange peel or zest. You can also use lemon zest.
Skinless chicken cooking in skillet.

Step One: Preheat oven to 375°F. Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a heavy oven-safe 10 or 12-inch skillet or large dutch oven. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown on both sides, about 5-6 minutes per side.

Sliced leeks and fennel in black skillet.

Step Two: Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Scrap up and loosen the brown bits from the skillet. Add the fennel and leek to the skillet and saute over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.

Leeks, fennel, flour, tomato paste, and garlic in skillet.

Step Three: Stir in the flour, tomato paste, and garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds.

Bouillabaisse with chopped tomatoes, orange peel, wine , and potatoes added while cooking in skillet.

Step Four: Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, potato, wine, and orange peel to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Chicken simmering in a Bouillabaisse sauce.

Step Five: Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and place in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Internal temperature should reach 170°F.

Chicken bouillabaisse stew in skillet.

Step Six: Add fresh thyme sprigs and serve with a side of crusty bread.

Chicken Bouillabaisse Serving Ideas

Serve with crusty bread or garlic toasts: Bouillabaisse is traditionally served in shallow bowls with a side of crusty bread to soak up the delicious broth.

Garnish classic seasonings: Just before serving, sprinkle some fresh tarragon, parsley, chives, or cilantro over your bouillabaisse to add a pop of color.

Start with good quality ingredients: Use fresh vegetables and high-quality chicken for the best flavor.

Use a variety of vegetables: A classic bouillabaisse typically includes onions, leeks, garlic, tomatoes, and potatoes, but you can add other vegetables, such as fennel, celery, and bell peppers, to add extra flavor.

Recipe Notes

  • Add aromatics: Bouillabaisse is typically flavored with garlic, saffron, and herbs such as thyme and bay leaves. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other spices and seasonings to add depth to your broth.
  • If you have time, use homemade broth: While you can use store-bought chicken broth, making your broth from chicken bones and aromatics will add more flavor to your bouillabaisse.
  • Simmer slowly: Simmer your bouillabaisse over low heat for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld together. This will also ensure that your chicken is cooked through and tender.

How to store leftovers

Cool the bouillabaisse: Allow the chicken bouillabaisse to cool to room temperature before storing it.

Store the bouillabaisse in airtight plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids. This will prevent the food from drying out and absorbing odors from other foods in the refrigerator.

Leftover chicken bouillabaisse should be consumed within 2-3 days. If you want to keep it longer, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

Reheat the bouillabaisse thoroughly, bringing it to a temperature of at least 165°F (74°C). You can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave.

What is Rouille?

French Rouille is a classic condiment from the Provence region of France, often served with seafood dishes like bouillabaisse. It is a garlicky mayonnaise-like sauce that is traditionally made with olive oil, bread crumbs, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup stale bread, torn into small pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Optional seasoning: sprinkle in a little herbs de Provence.

Instructions:

  1. Soak the bread in water for a few minutes until it is softened. Squeeze out any excess water and transfer the bread to a food processor.
  2. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt to the food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped.
  3. Add the egg yolk and lemon juice to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  4. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth, thick, and creamy.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, adding more salt or lemon juice if necessary.
  6. Transfer the Rouille to a small serving dish and refrigerate until ready to use.

Can I substitute fennel seeds for fresh fennel?

There are some recipes where you can use fennel seeds as a substitute for fresh fennel, such as in soups, stews, and marinades. Just keep in mind that the flavor and texture of the dish may be slightly different than if you had used fresh fennel.

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Chicken bouillabaisse stew in skillet on table.

Chicken Bouillabaisse

A different take on a classic bouillabaisse.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 674kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • 2 leeks cut lengthwise in half and slice both white and light green parts thin
  • 2 fennel bulbs cut lengthwise in half and sliced thin
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 red potatoes cut into bite sized cubes
  • 2 cup chicken broth low sodium
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 strips fresh orange peel, about 2-inches long and 1/4 inch thick

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat the olive oil in a heavy oven safe skillet.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown on both sides, about 5-6 minutes per side.
  • Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  • Add the fennel and leek to the skillet and saute over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour, tomato paste, and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, potato, wine, and orange peel to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the browned chicken thighs to the skillet and place in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Internal temperature should reach 170°F.

Notes

  • Simmer your bouillabaisse over low heat for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld together. This will also ensure that your chicken is cooked through and tender.

Nutrition

Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 176mg | Sodium: 839mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g
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