French Fish & Shrimp Stew





1 tbs olive oil

1 tsp. Fennel seeds

¼ tsp. cayenne

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 leeks, white parts only, roughly chopped

2 onions, roughly chopped

2 plum tomatoes, quartered

1 bay leaf

1½ c dry white wine

4 c seafood stock

2 c water

1 tbs butter

2 tbs flour

1 lb skinless firm white fish, such as halibut or monk fish, pin bones removed

1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed

1 pinch saffron threads

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tbs minced parsley




  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the fennel seeds, cayenne, garlic, leeks, onions, tomatoes, and bay leaf.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and leeks are soft, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add wine and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add seafood stock and water.
  7. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.
  8. Cook until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.
  9. Pour broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large container.
  10. Melt butter in the pot and add flour. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  11. Slowly whisk in the strained broth.
  12. Sprinkle broth with saffron and add fish and shrimp.
  13. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until fish is firm and shrimp are pink, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish and shrimp and divide between 4 bowls.
  14. Ladle broth on top of fish and garnish with parsley.
  15. Serve with toasted baguettes and aioli on the side, if desired.


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