Helene doesn't cook fancy or time-consuming food, and added potatoes to her stew, along with water to help them cook. When I make it at home, I'm may serve it with wide noodles, so will add less water, enough just to cover the chicken – perhaps 2 cups (500ml). The French tend to like lots of sauce, especially if there is good bread handy, so feel free to add 1 quart (1l) of water if you're using the potatoes.
When I got home (and had an internet connection), I did notice some French recipes for Poulet au pastis
call for the addition of things like star anise, fennel (fresh or fennel seeds), black olives, saffron, thyme, rosemary, or summer savory. The recipe is very flexible so you can use this recipe as a base, and add any other seasonings in step #4. Personally, I'm going to try swapping out fresh tarragon for some of the parsley and add fennel seeds next time I make it.
If you don't have pastis, another anise-flavor liqueur, such as ouzo
, or anisette
, will do. You may need to adjust the quantities, depending on the strength of the liqueur or spirit that you substitute.
Serving: Serve the chicken warm with potatoes and some of the sauce. If you decide not to cook potatoes with the chicken, you can serve this with pasta, rice, or a favorite grain.