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An eternally versatile white fish, there are lots of delicious ways to enjoy halibut–but have you tried it with a homemade buttered broth?

Our version takes things to the next level, melding the earthy and sweet flavors of saffron and anise-forward Pernod. Pro tip: our recipe also calls for fish stock, which you should get from your local fishmonger if you can. If not, opt for a salt-free chicken broth instead of store-bought tinned fish stock.

How to Make It

Difficulty: Easy

Overall Time: 45 min

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Serves: 4


Fennel Salad

  • ½ fennel bulb, trimmed
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt

Poached Halibut

  • 4 fillets (6 oz / 170 g each) skinless center-cut Halibut, about 1-inch thick
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided, plus extra if needed
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cubed, divided
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp Pernod liqueur
  • 2 cups no-salt fish or chicken stock
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp torn tarragon leaves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  1. For the fennel salad, cut fennel through the core in half. Thinly slice on a mandolin, then transfer to a medium bowl. Add lemon and salt, tossing to combine. Refrigerate while preparing fish.
  2. For the fish, season halibut with ¾ tsp salt. Set aside.
  3. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic. Season with remaining ¼ tsp salt and fresh pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add Pernod and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Stir in stock and saffron. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle boil. Add fish to pot, skin-side down, then immediately reduce heat to low. Cover with a lid and cook, undisturbed, until fish is firm and opaque, approximately 10 to 14 minutes.
  4. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large liquid measuring cup and set aside.
  5. Carefully lift halibut to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Increase heat to medium-high and return broth to a gentle boil. Continue cooking until lightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Whisk in remaining 2 tbsp butter until fully melted and combined. Adjust seasoning, if needed. Strain broth through prepared sieve.
  6. Divide broth among 4 bowls, then top each with a halibut fillet. Season with fresh black pepper. Sprinkle over fennel salad and herbs. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
Poached Halibut with Buttered Broth recipe by Casa de Suna
Poached Halibut with Buttered Broth recipe by Casa de Suna; Healthy Meals for Winter

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