Provençal Fish Stew with Rouille
- Mediterranean bouquet garni (1/3 cup fennel fronds; 4 thyme sprigs; two 5-inch-long strips orange peel)
- 1 3/4 cups chopped fresh fennel bulb (from 1 large)
- 1 cup thinly sliced leek (white and pale green parts only)
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
- 3 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds halibut fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 1-inch-thick baguette slices
Mix mayonnaise, garlic, and cayenne in small bowl. Cover and chill rouille. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 1 day ahead.
Place fennel fronds, thyme sprigs, and orange peel on large square of 2 layers of moistened cheesecloth. Gather cheesecloth and tie securely. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add fennel bulb and leek and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Add wine and saffron; bring to boil. Add broth and bouquet garni; return to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes. Add fish and simmer until opaque in center, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F. Brush baguette slices with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange on baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Spread rouille on toasts. Ladle stew into wide soup bowls, top with toasts, and serve.