• Branzino Poached with Fennel


Branzino Poached with Fennel

By Andrew Zimmern

Sometimes I filet the fish and use the bones to make the stock if I get one over 2 pounds. Mostly I roast or grill this fish whole and serve simply with olive oil and lemon. Recently I began serving this in the manner of Greek divers, cutting the fish crosswise into 1-inch wide bone-in pieces and poaching it. The fish is way more versatile than people give it credit for.

Branzino Poached with Fennel


  • 1 whole branzino roughly 2 pounds cleaned and scaled
  • 12 clams
  • 1-quart fish or shellfish stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 1 handful of 4-inch long celery stalks, preferably with plenty of leaves
  • 2 onions, cut in quarters
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Bouquet garni of parsley, dill, tarragon
  • 1 lemon sliced thin
  • Salt and white peppercorns


In a large pan, 12 or 14 inches wide, place the wine, peppercorns, stock and lemon and bring to a boil. Cook for 7-8 minutes, add the remaining ingredients except the fish. Cover and cook at a low boil for 7-8 minutes.

Remove the lemon slices and add the fish and clams. When simmering again, place the cover back on and lower the heat to maintain the barest simmer that you can, cooking for 10 minutes. The clams will open when the fish is ready. Taste the broth and use the salt to adjust the seasoning.

Serve the fish in bowls, over grilled pieces of bread, with the broth, clams and vegetables.

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