Cod with mussels and saffron

James Martin combines flakey cod with mussels in a sensational saffron broth for an easy but elegant dinner party dish
By James Martin
Cod with mussels and saffron
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 4 cod fillets, each 225g, skinned and pin-boned
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 50 g butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, finely chopped
  • 200 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 0.5 bulb fennel, finely sliced
  • 1 pinches powdered saffron
  • 1 pinches curry powder
  • 2 tsp thyme, fresh
  • 1 pinches sugar
  • 1.5 kg mussels, fresh
  • 250 ml Muscat dessert wine
  • 25 ml Pernod
  • 100 ml chicken stock, (or fish stock)
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 40 g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


1. Season the cod fillets with salt and a little freshly ground black pepper.

2. Heat half of the butter and half of the oil together in a large saucepan and fry the cod fillets for 3-4 minutes. Turn over and fry on the other side for 2-3 minutes.

3. Remove the fish from the pan and prepare the sauce.

4. Heat the remaining butter and oil and fry the onions until softened. Add the leeks, mushrooms and fennel and continue to cook.

5. Stir in the saffron, curry powder and thyme and pinch of sugar.

6. Add the mussels to the pan, followed by the wine and Pernod. Stir in the stock and double cream. Bubble until the liquid has reduced by half and then place the cod back in the sauce.

7. Add the chopped parsley and season to taste. Spoon out the mussels and sauce and serve with the cod on the top.

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