Seafood Stew with Saffron and Orange

1 hourServes 8
Seafood Stew with Saffron and Orange


  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 c onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ c fennel bulb, chopped (reserve a few fronds for garnish)
  • ¼ c carrot, chopped
  • ¼ c celery, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 c bottled clam juice
  • 2 c canned crushed tomatoes
  • ½ c dry, un-oaked white wine (such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc)
  • 3 strips orange peel (cut using vegetable peeler)
  • 2 sachets (.25 ounce) The Fresh Market Saffron (about ½ tsp loosely packed)
  • 1 ½ lb cod, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ lb sea scallops and/or peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1 dozen small clams, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 1 dozen mussels, scrubbed and rinsed
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for serving


Warm oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, carrot, celery and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tender, about 8 minutes, stirring often.

Add garlic, 1 teaspoon black pepper, fennel seed and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute while stirring.

Stir in the clam juice, tomatoes, wine, orange peel, saffron and additional 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The broth should reduce and thicken a little. Discard the orange zest.*

With the stew gently bubbling (but not boiling), stir in the fish, clams, and mussels. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels open fully, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the scallops; cover, and let stand until the scallops are opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard any clams and mussels that do not open.

Serve immediately, topped with fennel fronds and parsley, alongside toasted sourdough slathered in aioli.

*The stew can be made to this point up to two days ahead. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Reheat before proceeding.

Smoked Paprika and Saffron Aioli Makes about 1 c

  • ¼ c roasted red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • Tiny pinch of saffron threads
  • ½ c olive oil
  • ½ c vegetable oil

Pulse the first 8 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Combine oils measuring cup with a pouring spot. With the machine running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until the rouille is thick and smooth. Use soon or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.