Saffron can bring a certain "elevation" to a dish that makes things feel special. No exception here. This Fish Stew with Fennel and Saffron Cream has restaurant quality status but comes together as easy as 1-2-3!
This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for your continued support.
A few humble ingredients come together in this super comfy, cozy dish. Everything is cooked in one pot on the stovetop so makes for easy cleanup and the leftovers are divine!
What is Saffron?
Known for it's golden yellow colour, saffron is said to be one of the oldest and most expensive spices in the world. It comes from the stamens of a crocus flower. These delicate threads need to be handpicked which is why saffron is so expensive. Another attributing factor to the cost is that it takes about 1000 flowers to produce just one ounce of saffron. Thankfully you never need to use too much and it's certainly worth the splurge for dishes like this fish stew.
Where Can I Buy Saffron?
Saffron has become easier and easier to find as it gains popularity. Find it in Middle Eastern, Indian and Spanish supermarkets, specialty grocery stores, health food stores, some bulk stores, or you can find it here on Amazon. (affiliate link)
What You Need For This Recipe
- Firm, white fleshed fish such as halibut or cod - although this dish could also be made with salmon, shrimp or scallops...or a combination of your favourite fish and seafood.
- Olive oil or butter
- Leeks - You can substitute with any onion or shallots but leeks impart a buttery sweetness that I find irreplaceable.
- Fresh fennel with fronds reserved for garnish
- Red bell pepper
- Fingerling or baby potatoes
- Fresh garlic
- Chicken or fish stock
- Dry white wine - Can substitute with extra chicken stock and a splash of white wine vinegar or lemon juice.
- 35%, or whipping cream - Can substitute with a high fat non dairy milk such as coconut milk.
How To Make This Recipe
- Heat olive oil or butter in a medium to large pot or braising dish.
- Add leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add fennel, red pepper and garlic. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add wine, stock, cream, crumbled saffron, salt and pepper to taste, and potatoes. Stir and cover.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Nestle the fish into the vegetables and cream. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until fish is cooked and flakes easily. Garnish with fresh fennel fronds and serve.
What Can I Serve it With?
Although this stew is perfect just as it is, some crusty bread would be a delicious addition!
How do I Store This Stew?
Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Other Recipes You Might Like to Try
- TERIYAKI SALMON BAKE
- EASY SHRIMP STIR FRY WITH PAD THAI SAUCE
- THAI STYLE COCONUT CHICKEN SOUP
- CREAMY CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM SOUP WITH DILL
Fish Stew With Fennel and Saffron Cream
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- 400 g firm, white flesh fish such as halibut or cod, cut into large chunks
- 3 sliced leeks, dark green tops removed.
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced. ¼ cup fronds chopped and reserved.
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 fingerling or 8-10 baby potatoes, sliced
- 2 cups chicken or fish stock
- 1 cup dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 cup 35% or whipping cream
- ½ tsp - 0.36g saffron, crumbled
- Heat olive oil or butter, over medium heat, in medium to large saucepan.
- Add leeks and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Reduce heat if starting to brown.
- Add fennel, red pepper, and garlic . Stir and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
- Add potatoes, wine, stock, cream, saffron, salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Nestle the fish into the vegetable/cream mixture. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and serve.
- Instead of white fleshed fish you can also use salmon, shrimp or scallops or any combination.
- Make it dairy free by using a high fat non-dairy milk such as coconut milk.
- Substitute for saffron - ½-1 teaspoon of tumeric. Fresh dill would also be lovely in this dish.
- Store in the refrigerator for 3 days or freeze for 3 months.