The original Pernod was a wild concoction with an even wilder reputation. Today's Pernod no longer contains absinthe and is the only pastis made without liquorice. The result is a milder version of pastis that lends itself well to cocktails and many dishes.
We tried Pernod in glasses with ice water at a 1:5 Pernod to water ratio. I can't honestly say that I was immediately enamoured, but I can see how it would be one of those things a person grows fond of over time.
If you really want to know about Pernod pastis, visit the website. If you want to know more about pastis in general and how the Provençeaux feel about it, I suggest the chapter 'A Pastis Lesson' in Peter Mayle's book, Toujours Provence. It may not all be factual, but it will leave you wanting to sit back, kick off your shoes and sip a pastis while the time whittles by.
If you're interested in cooking with pastis, something quite common in Provence, then this recipe won't let you down.
Pastis Soaked Chicken
1 roasting chicken – 6 – 7 pounds
1/2 cup pastis such as Ricard or Pernod
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
freshly ground black pepper – to taste
Kosher or sea salt – to taste
1 cup fresh tomato – seeded and diced
8 cloves garlic – quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 cup black olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup each fresh basil and parsley – chopped
1. Several hours or up to one day ahead of roasting, mix together olive oil and pastis and pour over chicken. Rub well into skin and inside cavity. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub well again. Cover chicken and refrigerate until ready to cook.
2. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, tomato, fennel seed, olives, parsley and basil and cook until onions are wilted and mixture begins to form a sauce.
3. Set chicken on top of onion mixture and cover with a lid or foil.
4. Roast at 350 degrees F for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, or until thigh meat is no longer pink.
5. Rest before carving and serve with ‘sauce’ from the pan.
*Adapted from Sarah Leah Chase’s ‘Pastis Soused Rabbit’ from ‘Pedaling Through Provence’