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Fish Stock

Yield: Yields just over 4 quarts.

Reserve 1/4 cup of this stock for Rouille. The rest goes in the Bouillabaisse.


  • 6 lb. assorted very fresh fish carcasses or trimmings from fish such as lingcod, Pacific rockfish, sea bass, flounder, halibut (heads included) or small soup fish (gutted and gilled)     
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped 
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 large ripe tomatoes (or one 28-oz. can tomatoes, drained), peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • Feathery tops from 1 large bulb fennel (reserve the bulb for the bouillabaisse)
  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 gallon water


  • Clean and rinse the fish carcasses or small fish. Warm the olive oil in a large pot (13 quarts is ideal) over medium heat. Add the fish carcasses and cook them, stirring continuously to expose all the surfaces to the heat, until the fish breaks down to a fragrant mess in the bottom of the pot, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up any bits of fish sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add the vegetables, herbs, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and skim off and discard the white froth as it rises to the surface. Maintain a gentle simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the stock from the heat and strain, pushing as much of the solids through as you can. Taste and simmer to reduce and concentrate the flavor a bit.


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