HOW TO ENJOY MOTHER’S DAY

Everybody wants to do something special for their mom on Mother’s Day.  Flowers are a possibility, or perfume, or some other gift, or take her to dinner in a restaurant, but I say forget it.   Flowers don’t last, she doesn’t need another perfume, and her favorite restaurants will be too crowded on Mother’s Day.  What your Mom, if she is anything like the other moms I know, wants more than anything is to spend the day with you and the rest of the family.   I suggest you stay home and make Mom a great lunch instead.

It doesn’t have to take a lot of time.  In fact, if you put your slow cooker to work, you can make a great meal in practically no time.  Think of something with a little flair that everyone will enjoy.  My suggestion is Chicken Bouillabaisse, a recipe from The French Slow Cooker.  You may know bouillabaisse as a fish stew, but in Provence it is also made with chicken and I have adapted the recipe to the slow cooker.  Together with some seasonings, the chicken goes into the cooker with some white wine, and tomatoes.  They all cook together until the chicken is fork tender.  Serve it as they do in France with toasted bread and Rouille, a spicy garlic sauce.

For starters, a great salad would be my choice, perhaps with a slice of goat cheese.  And for dessert, buy a cake from the bakery, or make the flourless chocolate cake published on this website about a year ago.  You can make it a day or two ahead and serve it proudly with some fresh strawberries.

CHICKEN BOUILLABAISSE

Serves 4 to 8

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chopped canned or fresh tomato
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 2 3-inch strips orange zest
  • Big pinch saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • Pinch of piment d’Espelette or cayenne
  • 8 chicken thighs, skin removed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 8 1/2 -inch thick slices toasted French or Italian bread
  • Rouille (see page 00)
  •             In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a simmer.  Pour the mixture into a large slow cooker.  Stir in the tomato, puree, orange zest, saffron and fennel.
  •             Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.  Place the pieces in the slow cooker, spooning some of the sauce over the top.  Cover and cook on low 6 hours or until the chicken is tender and coming away from the bone.
  •             Serve the chicken and sauce in shallow bowls with the toast and Rouille.

ROUILLE

You could make this luscious rosy red pepper sauce from scratch by first making a mayonnaise and then adding roasted peppers, but I like this convenient shortcut method just as well. Serve it with a fish or vegetable bouillabaisse, grilled fish, as a dip for raw vegetables or as a spread for sandwiches.
Makes 1-3/4 cups

  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, either homemade or from a jar
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne or Espelette pepper
  •             In a blender or food processor, finely chop the peppers and garlic.  Add the mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice and cayenne and process until smooth.  Store the sauce in a covered jar in the refrigerator.
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1 comment

1 John Carafoli { 05.07.12 at 5:47 AM }

Michele, This is one I can not wait to cook! But probably will not be for Mothers day. Thanks for sending.

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    • Michele Scicolone