Seafood Stew with Garlic Rouille Croutons

Seafood stew with garlic rouille croutons is Chuck Hughes' perfect seafood-lover's delight.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 3 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Seafood Stock: 

3 tablespoons/45ml olive oil

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

1 fennel bulb, chopped

1 garlic bulb, halved horizontally

1 leek, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 tablespoons/45ml ketchup

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 sprigs fresh thyme

Shells of 4 crab legs (reserve the meat for the stew, below)

Shells of 2 lobsters (reserve the meat for the stew, below)

1 tablespoon/15ml peppercorns

1 tablespoon/15ml cold butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roasted Leeks and Mushrooms:

2 tablespoons/30ml olive oil

2 leeks, cut into chunks

12 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed

4 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 cup/250ml frozen peas

Rouille Croutons:

6 to 8 slices country bread

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 red chile pepper, seeded and chopped

1 egg yolk 

1 cup/250ml olive oil, plus more for the pan

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Seafood Stew:

1 pound/500g clams

8 ounces /225g mussels

8 ounces/225g rock shrimp

Meat from 2 lobsters

Meat from 4 crab legs


Olive oil, for drizzling

4 to 6 sea scallops on the shell

Fresh chervil


  1. For the seafood stock: Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, fennel, garlic, leeks and onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, rosemary, thyme, and the crab and lobster shells and stir. Add the peppercorns and 16 cups (4 liters) water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Strain the stock into a smaller saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by two-thirds, about 45 minutes. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper.
  2. For the roasted leeks and mushrooms: Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes more. Add the roasted peppers (along with any of their juices) and a ladle of seafood stock. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  3. For the rouille croutons: Soak 2 thick slices bread in the seafood stock. Squeeze out the liquid and add the bread to the food processor along with the garlic, chile and egg yolk. Buzz it up. Slowly add the olive oil while processing until a smooth paste forms. Add a little of the seafood stock if the rouille begins to split. Season with salt and pepper.  Toast the remaining 4 to 6 slices bread (one for each serving) in a pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Set aside.
  4. For the seafood stew: Return the seafood stock to a simmer and add the clams. Cook until they start to open, about 5 minutes. Add the mussels and cook until they open, another 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and lobster meat and simmer for 2 minutes. Before serving, add the peas to the leeks-mushroom mixture to warm them up. Spread the rouille on the toasted bread. Divide the leek-mushroom mixture among bowls, top with the crab meat, and then the seafood stew. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with a live scallop on the shell and sprinkle with chervil. Serve the rouille croutons on the side. 

Cook’s Note

Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served use shell eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method.

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