"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!


Slow Cooker Bouillabaisse: Fisherman's Stew #Food of the World

Bouillabaisse- Fisherman's Stew- simplelivingeating.com

It's almost summer. I grew up in a beach town and summer always makes me think of seafood. It still gets a little chilly here in New York at night so my family and I still want filling food...not heavy; a fish stew suits us well at this time of year.

Bouillabaisse sounds so fancy and it looks fancy to me... but it is traditionally from the seaside area of Marsille in France, and it was always made of the parts of the fish that couldn't be sold... you know heads, and guts, tails etc... tasty, but probably hard to avoid bones.

Slow Cooker Bouillabaisse: Fisherman's Stew: simplelivingeating.com

Bouillabaisse in restaurants is usually made from a firm white fish: cod, haddock, etc.. but not usually an oily fish like tuna or mackerel. It always includes some type of shell fish like mussels or clams.. and it usually contains potatoes, leeks, onions, tomatoes and celery; but you can play around with what vegetables you add to it.

If you follow this blog regularly you know that I have been experimenting with making all kinds of things in a slow cooker. I have decided that it is the best way to cook in the summer. No heat is admitted into your house, and it is there waiting for you after a long adventurous day in the sun.

Slow Cooker Bouillabaisse: Fisherman's Stew: simplelivingeating.com

I've never really cooked fish in a slow cooker, so I treated it like chicken... both cook quickly. I put the fish in frozen and on top of the vegetables. Making this dish it was the potatoes, not the fish, that were the slowest thing to cook.. I made sure they were on the bottom.

Well, guess what it worked! This stew is amazing. It tasted like something I had in an outdoor bistro on the French coast.

Bon appetite.

Slow Cooker Bouillabaisse: Fisherman's Stew: simplelivingeating.com

Slow Cooker Bouillabaisse: Fisherman's Stew

by Diane Balch

preparation time 20 minutes                        serves: 8 - 10


2 leeks, white and light green part only, chopped
2 celery chopped
10 small red potatoes quartered
1 small fennel bulb chopped
3 pounds of a frozen white fish (cod, snapper, haddock etc) 
1 pound of a frozen seafood (sea scallops, squid, etc.)
1 pound of a fresh shellfish ( clams, or mussels)
1  28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
4 cups of chicken broth 
1 cup dry white wine
1 orange peel
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of ground thyme
1 teaspoon of saffron
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of salt
Pepper to taste

crosti toast or baguette toast
Rouille sauce or Boar's Head Fiery Chipotle Gourmaise


1) Put potatoes first into a large crockpot, followed by the: leeks, celery, fennel, bay leaf and orange peel.

2) Put the frozen white fish on top of the vegetables.

3) Put the frozen seafood on top of the white fish.

4) In a large bowl whisk together: diced tomatoes, chicken broth, white wine, thyme, saffron, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

5) Pour the broth mixture over the fish and vegetables. 

6) Let cook for 4 - 6 hours on low. When you can put a fork through the potatoes easily the stew is done.

7) Turn off the heat and add the fresh shell fish. Stir it until shells open about 3 minutes.

Spread either rouille sauce or gourmaise sauce over the toast and float one or two in each bowl of stew.

Come Join us on July 8th when we visit: Greece!

Please add your French recipes to the linky below and visit my co-host to see what they are cooking in France today.

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  1. Hi Diane,
    Your Slow Cooker Bouillabaisse looks beautiful. What a great recipe that we would just love to enjoy beach side. Thanks for the great recipe and have a good evening!
    Miz Helen

    1. Yes, lets picture ourselves meeting for dinner on the French riveria.

  2. Shellfish still scare me to cook with. This looks wonderful. I never would have expected that it was cooked in the slow cooker.

    1. Buy it frozen. They freeze it when they catch it so you know it hasn't gone bad.

  3. We don't eat shellfish for religious dietary reasons but I am admiring your photos. Wonderful choice.

    1. Thanks so much Chaya. I taught English in a Yeshiva and the kids would ask me what shellfish tastes like... it's funny I could never really describe other than to say chewier fishier fish.

  4. I am glad you reminded me about the cassoulet. I didn't make it for the group but of course, it belongs. Thanks so much.

  5. sounds so yummy and easy :) Love using the crock pot in the summer!

    1. I'm new to using the crockpot in warmer weather and I still adapting recipes for this time of year... but I truly love it.

  6. This recipe sounds so freaking amazing. I am going to give it a try in the next few weeks. Shared it on my facebook so I will remember!

  7. This sounds so delicious, and I love crockpot recipes any time of the year!!! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  8. I never would have thought to make Bouillabaisse (or seafood) in the slow cooker. You are brave to try and I'm glad it worked out! I'm kind of a slow cooker dunce and don't experiment much (meaning not at all). The orange peel in your recipe really grabs me. Thanks for linking up!

    1. My need to save time has made me a brave slow cooker user. I find as long as I layer well and put protein in frozen it comes out great.

  9. I love my slow cooker! Thanks again for being a part of our party. i hope to see you tonight at 7 pm.. Lou Lou Girls

  10. Hi Diane - This looks delicious. I have never made bouillabaisse, but may have to give it a try. Thanks so much for sharing with the Let's Get Real party.

  11. You are the slow cooker queen!
    Happy New Year.

  12. I agree with the title that Cher bestowed on you. I always enjoy seeing how you make the recipes easier to cook. I've never done fish in the slow cooker either, but the bouillabaisse sounds like something to try. WIshing you a very Happy New Year, my friend. I hope that we can meet again in 2015. In the grand scheme of FFWD geography, we are practically neighbors.

  13. Your bouillabaisse look wonderful!

  14. Beautiful bouillabaisse! I love my slow cooker, but I don't use it enough. I'm glad to know a dish like this works well!

    1. I rediscovered my slow cooker in the last year. if I know I am going to be busy around dinner time I put something in AM and it keeps us from buying take out.

  15. Wow, this is something that definitely works for me. Because of your enthusiasm and the number of articles on blogs about slow cookers, I have been using it and the tagine more. It's not that I get so busy around dinner time - no kids to shuffle around any more - but I'm tired and not too enthused about making myself a good dinner. Sometimes I just don't. If I've got it on deck, it just makes the evening so much better. Thank you for the detailed recipe. I am in Cedar City, Utah, tonight, on my way to Cambria. That's why I waited to make the bouillabaisse next week. I bot a slow cooker for the rental house last year and left it. I hope it's still there. I spotted the baguette with the rouille before I read your Post. My thought was, ahhhhh, that girl knows what she's doing. We'll see how I do next week.

    1. Being from New England and being Southern Italian I am a serious fish stew person... can't forget the baguette with rouille or just good salted butter. I agree the slow cooker is just a good way to make sure you eat something healthy. You can't ignore that healthy meal brewing away in there... hope that pot is still there.

  16. Your bouillabaisse looks delicious. I agree with you that any stew or soup needs a good baguette. I never forget bread with soup. Happy new year.


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