Savoy-trained chef Guy Wolley shares his recipe for this classic seafood stew that’s perfect for a summertime dinner party
Originating from Marseille, this Provençal fish dish is set apart from other fish stews by the flavourings of orange, fennel and saffron. It typically contains at least three varieties of fish, plus shellfish and other seafood such as urchins, spider crab or octopus – and is served with rouille (a spicy mayonnaise) and lots of bread (of course!).
This recipe serves 10 people
For the bouillabaisse:
*3kg filleted fish such as sea bream, monkfish or John Dory (plus heads and bones)
*40 fresh mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
*12 tiger prawns
*2 onions, finely chopped
*1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
*5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
*1 tsp tomato purée
*1 tin chopped tomatoes
*3 strips of orange zest
*1 tsp saffron threads
*100ml olive oil
*750g potatoes peeled and thickly sliced
*Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper
For the rouille:
*3 garlic cloves, chopped
*2 egg yolks
*25g of fresh white breadcrumbs soaked in a little water
*150ml olive oil
*½ tsp cayenne pepper
*4 tsp tomato purée
*1 tbsp lemon juice
*Salt and pepper
To make the rouille, crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a little salt to make a paste. Transfer to a bowl, add the egg yolks and breadcrumbs and gradually whisk in the olive oil to form a smooth emulsion. Add the cayenne, tomato purée and lemon juice and season to taste.
For the bouillabaisse, fry the onion, fennel and garlic in the olive oil until soft but not coloured. Now turn up the heat, add the fish bones and heads, tomatoes, tomato purée, saffron and orange zest. Cover with water and boil rapidly for 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Strain through a colander, using the back of a ladle to crush and extract a little bit of flavour. If thin, just reduce a little. This is your broth.
Next cook the potatoes in some of the broth in a large pan. When almost cooked, add the mussels and cook rapidly with the lid on for a few minutes until the mussels have opened. Discard any that don’t open. Strain, adding the liquid back into the rest of the broth.
Lay the fish and prawns in a roasting tray, drizzle with oil and season with salt and cayenne. Pour over some of the broth and oven cook at 180° for 10-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Now put the mussels and potatoes into a deep serving dish or into individual soup bowls, place the fish on top and pour the broth over it. Top with croutons and the rouille and serve.
Other articles you might like:
Learn how to make moules marinières
French food you need to try at least once
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