A cotriade is a traditional, coastal Breton fish stew and every family has its own recipe. It’s made using whole fish, cut into pieces, rather than fillets, with squid and mussels.
Coming from Brittany in northwestern France, Bretons are Celtic in origin having emigrated from Devon and Cornwall in southwestern Britain.
Us Brits however cannot make any claims on Breton cuisine. This recipe is most definitely in the wider French classic style.
Brittany is famed for its local specialities like crêpes, cider and chouchenn, a type of mead.
At the time of writing the restaurant chain, Cote is serving a very respectable Breton fish stew on their menu. I can personally vouch for the stew having had it twice!
Try Caldeirada de Enguias, a different fish stew similar to the cotriade but from Portugal.
Breton Fish Stew (Cotriade)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 shallot chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 stalk celery thinly sliced
- 1 leek white and light green parts only, halved crosswise, washed and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 250 ml white wine optional
- 1.75 litres vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 227 g baby potatoes halved
- 1 large squid tube cut into rings
- 450 g white fish cod, haddock, or halibut
- 450 g mussels scrubbed and debearded
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- Crusty bread optional
- In a large saucepan or preferably a cast-iron casserole, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions, shallot, garlic, celery and leek. Season with salt and pepper and cook just until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the wine (if using) and let reduce by half. Stir in the vegetable stock, bay leaves, thyme and parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the potatoes and squid rings; cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the fish and cook for 10 minutes, or until almost cooked through. Add the cleaned mussels and cover until the mussels have opened, about 2 to 4 minutes.
- Discard any closed mussels and stir everything together. Sprinkle fronds over top. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and crusty bread.