Outdated browser detected

You are using an unsupported browser and may not experience the site, or shop online as intended. We recommend you upgrade

John Dory in Herb-Fennel Bouillon

This recipe is presented to you by Ludo Lefebvre.

John Dory in Herb-Fennel Bouillon


4 main course servings

Herb-fennel Bouillon 

  • 2 small fresh sprigs of each herb: basil, cilantro, dill, parsley, sage, tarragon, thyme and rosemary
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 2 cups Fish Stock
  • ¼ cup Ricard or Pernod

Fish and vegetables

  • 4 4-ounce John Dory fillets
  • 6 baby carrots, peeled, cut diagonally into ¼-inch-thick rounds, blanched
  • 4 asparagus, cut diagonally into ¼-inch-thick rounds, blanched
  • 2 sweet baby Maui onions, blanched, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Ricard or Pernod
  • 4 tablespoons Lemon Confit (see recipe below)
  • Creamed Leeks (see recipe below)


  • Remove the leaves from the stems of the herb sprigs. Cover and refrigerate the leaves. Place the stems in a heavy medium saucepan; add the Fish Stock, 1 fennel bulb and Ricard. Bring to a boil. Remove the bouillon from the heat. Cover and let steep 15 minutes. Strain the bouillon into a small bowl; discard the solids. Allow the bouillon to cool to 140 degrees F.
  • DO-AHEAD: The bouillon can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before continuing.


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the fish fillets in a 13x9-inch roasting pan. Pour 1 cup of the warm (140 degrees F) bouillon over the fish. Bake until the fish is just opaque in the center and beginning to flake, about 8 minutes. Discard the poaching liquid.
  • Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 cup of bouillon, carrots, asparagus, baby onions, shallots, fennel and Ricard in a medium saucepan. Bring the bouillon to a simmer. Season to taste with fleur de sel and pepper.


  • Place each fillet in the center of 4 large shallow soup plates. Spoon the vegetable and bouillon mixture around the fish. Brush the top of each fillet with 1 tablespoon of Lemon Confit.
  • Garnish with the warm Creamed Leeks. Sprinkle the reserved herb leaves over the fillets and serve immediately.

Creamed Leeks


  • 2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Cook the leek slices in a saucepan of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 30 seconds. Drain.
  • Transfer the leek slices to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again.
  • Combine the leek slices and cream in a heavy medium saucepan. Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens and the leek slices become very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Season the mixture to taste with fleur de sel and pepper.
  • DO-AHEAD: The creamed leeks can be prepared up to 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat before using.

Lemon Confit


  • 4 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Wrap each lemon individually in foil. Place the lemons on the foil-lined baking sheet and bake until they are very soft, turning occasionally, about 40 minutes.
  • Cool the lemons in the foil. Remove the foil and cut the lemons in half. Spoon the lemon pulp and juice into a fine-meshed strainer set over a heavy small saucepan.
  • Press on the lemon solids with the back of a rubber spatula to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Add the sugar to the lemon mixture. Bring the lemon mixture to a boil. Remove from the heat.
  • DO-AHEAD: The lemon confit can be prepared at least 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature before using.


Recipe by Ludo Lefebvre ©2016