Fish heads, tails, and bones can be found at most fish counters. Use this recipe to make our Classic Fish Chowder.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2008


Recipe Summary

Makes 2 quarts


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat a 12-quart stockpot over low heat. Add oil, shallot, leeks, fennel, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 30 minutes. (Do not let vegetables brown.)

  • Add fish heads, tails, and bones, and cook until just starting to release their juices, 10 to 15 minutes. Add peppercorns, bay leaf, coriander, and water to cover bones by 1 inch. Raise heat to high, and simmer, then immediately reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, skimming any foam that rises to the surface; discard foam. (A hard boil will break the fish apart and make your fumet cloudy and bitter.)

  • Turn off heat, and add tarragon, parsley, chervil, and chives. Cover, and let steep for 20 minutes.

  • Strain fumet through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth set over a large container. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 day (or freeze for up to 3 months; thaw before using).

Cook's Notes

Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day, or freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before using.