In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and add the leek and garlic. Saute for a few minutes to soften the leek. Add the crushed fennel seeds and chicken pieces and continue to saute for about 5 more minutes.
Add the fennel slices and give everything a stir. Crushing the tomatoes with your clean hands, add them to the pot along with the wine.
Bring the pot up to the boil and then add the chicken broth. Simmer all for about 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes and continue to simmer until the potatoes become fork tender. Season the stew to taste with salt and pepper.
For the rouille
Place the potatoes, broth and garlic into the bowl of a mini food processor and process until very smooth. Remove to a bowl and stir in the mayo and cayenne pepper if using.
To serve the stew: Ladle stew into serving bowls, place a couple of spoonfuls of the rouille over and garnish with a few of those saved fennel fronds.
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!