Prawn, saffron and leek fricassee

Prawn, saffron and leek fricassee

New Middle Eastern Food
Mark Roper

This is definitely a special occasion dish, with its glorious golden tones, luscious, velvety cream sauce and strong, heady flavours. This is a modern-day fricassee, without the traditional egg yolks for enriching. Instead, the sauce is reduced to an intensely sticky richness, and only needs some egg noodles or plain steamed rice to accompany it.


Quantity Ingredient
12 king prawns, about 1 kg
1 tablespoon Ras al hanout
60ml olive oil
3 small leeks, cut into medium dice, white part only
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 small bulbs fennel, cored and thinly sliced
generous splash white wine
15 saffron threads, lightly roasted and ground
500ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
100ml cream, (35% fat)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and cut into medium dice
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
buttered noodles or plain rice and a soft green-leaf salad, to serve


  1. Peel the prawns and remove the heads, but leave the tails intact. With a sharp knife, split them along the back and carefully pull away the intestinal tract. Rub the prawns all over with the ras al hanout and allow them to sit for an hour to marinate.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan until sizzling hot. Sear the prawns very quickly on both sides, and then remove from the pan. Keep the heat high and add the leeks, garlic and fennel and toss them around the pan for a minute. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan, then add the saffron. Pour in the stock, reduce the heat a little and allow to bubble away until the liquid reduces by two-thirds and the vegetables soften. This will take about 8 minutes.
  3. When reduced, add the mustard and cream and stir in well. Bring the sauce back to the boil, taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Put the prawns back into the pan with the tomatoes and cook for another minute, just so that the prawns cook through. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again