It’s impossible to create an authentic bouillabaisse on a small scale due to the variety and species of fish required but, in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child uses the same flavourings and technique to poach chicken – so why not come full circle and use them to poach a beautiful piece of fish, creating swordfish à la bouillabaisse? I love meaty swordfish prepared this way, but it’s a versatile recipe and you could use any fish. The saffron, thyme, orange peel and fennel are part of a classic bouillabaisse, as is the technique of boiling water and oil rapidly so that it emulsifies to form a delicious sauce. Traditionally bouillabaisse was two courses, the broth being served separately to the fish poached in it. I like to serve this dish with steamed rice and finish off the cooking liquid by pouring it over the rice to make a soupy rice broth. Be sure to stir in plenty of rouille, as that’s what makes a good bouillabaisse sublime (see video below). I love the elegance of Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay with this dish – rich stone fruit notes with a touch of flintiness and good acid to bring it all together – delicious!
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