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Fish Stock

Use this recipe to make Finnish Fish Chowder.

  • Yield: Makes 5 quarts

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2002


  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 to 5 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 to 5 sprigs thyme
  • 3 to 5 sprigs tarragon
  • 3 to 5 sprigs dill
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick, washed well
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 7 pounds heads and bones of non-oily fish, such as sole, flounder, or bass
  • 3 cups dry white wine


  1. Make a bouquet garni by tying bay leaves, parsley, thyme, tarragon, dill, fennel seeds, and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth; set aside.

  2. Melt the butter in the stockpot over medium-high heat. Add leeks, onion, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and fennel; cook until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Raise heat to high, and add fish heads and bones, wine, reserved bouquet garni, and enough water to just cover the bones (about 4 1/2 quarts). Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes. Skim scum from surface with a large spoon, as needed.

  3. Prepare an ice bath. Remove stockpot from heat, and strain stock through a fine sieve into a large heat-proof bowl set in the ice bath, and let cool slightly before using or storing.

Cook's Notes

Have your fishmonger remove the gills from the fish heads and cut the bones to fit in a sixteen-quart stockpot; wash both heads and bones well in cold water before using. While it is best used the day it is made, this flavorful stock can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.


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