Filets de Poisson Dugléré
This is a dish that I learned at the Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris and it has a very special background. It was invented by the French chef, Adolf Dugléré (1805 – 1884) who was chef for the Rothschild family and was named the ‘Mozart of Chefs’ by Rossini. Dugléré eventually became the head chef of Café Anglais, the most famous Paris restaurant of the 19th century.
Despite its distinguished background, this dish is not too difficult to make. I recently taught this recipe to my French Cooking Class in Adelaide and everyone gave it the thumbs up (and seemed to enjoy filleting their own fish)!
Any fish recipe served Dugléré- style means it is cooked with diced tomatoes, onions and parsley and is topped with a delicious buttery sauce made with fish stock. You will get the best result by using real homemade fish stock, but store-bought stock will be alright.
For my home-made fish stock, I filleted my fish (snapper) and used the bones to make the stock. The fish bones are added to a pan with water, white wine, some onion and shallots and some herbs- the stock only needs 20 minutes to cook. (For detailed instructions on how to fillet a fish, refer to my post How to Fillet a Fish- and not die trying!)
Home-made Fish Stock
- Fish bones
- 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 shallots
- 1 garlic clove, flattened
- 1 tbsp. butter
- several sprigs each of parsley and thyme
- 100 ml dry white wine
- Fillet the fish. Chop the fish bones into several parts using a cleaver; let soak in a pan of water for several minutes to remove any impurities. (You can use the head of the fish to make the stock, but you should remove the eyes first).
- Remove the skin from the fish and any small pin-bones from the flesh. Set the fish aside.
- To make the fish stock, roughly chop the onion and shallots and flatten the garlic clove. Add the butter to a large saucepan and sweat these veggies until translucent. Add the fish bones, white wine, parsley and thyme to the pan; add enough water to cover the bones and the other ingredients. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes and then strain.
You now have your fresh fish stock (‘liquid gold’) ready to make the rest of the dish.
Fish Fillets in White Wine Sauce (Filets de Poisson Dugléré)
Recipe adapted from Le Cordon Bleu Paris
- 100 ml white wine
- 300 – 400 ml fish stock (homemade or store-bought)
- 125 g butter
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 3 medium or large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
- Prepare the vegetable garnish: remove the skins from the tomatoes: remove the top core of each tomato and place an ‘x’ on the bottom. Place each tomato into a pan of boiling water until the skin loosens. Remove from the pan and immediately place into a bowl of ice water to stop further cooking of the tomato. Remove the tomato skins and cut into quarters. Remove the seeds and then finely dice the tomatoes.
- Chop finely the ½ onion and two shallots.
- Butter a fry pan generously. Over medium heat, add the onions and shallots first to the pan, then add the tomatoes and fish pieces. Season with salt and pepper, then add the 100 ml wine on top.
- When the fish stock is ready, pour this over the fish mxture, just enough to cover the fish and vegetables. Cover and cook over medium heat for 7-8 minutes until the fish is cooked (do not over-cook).
- Finish the sauce: remove the fish from the pan and cover with foil. Let the sauce reduce for 6-10 minutes, then gradually add 125 g cold butter cubes to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To Plate: place one piece of fish in the centre of the plate, then top with some of the sauce. Sprinkle with the diced parsley.