Whole stuffed John Dory

Serves 4-6
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Indy Lifestyle Online

If you are looking for a luxury alternative for Christmas Day then why not try a whole roasted fish? It works really well with certain firmer-fleshed fish such as sea bass, snapper, John Dory, grouper and dorade or sea bream which have fewer bones to contend with, or with large flat fish like turbot or brill. Ask your fishmonger to scale the fish, if it has scales that is, and cut the fins off and remove the stomach. The head can be left on or removed depending on how squeamish you are.

If you are looking for a luxury alternative for Christmas Day then why not try a whole roasted fish? It works really well with certain firmer-fleshed fish such as sea bass, snapper, John Dory, grouper and dorade or sea bream which have fewer bones to contend with, or with large flat fish like turbot or brill. Ask your fishmonger to scale the fish, if it has scales that is, and cut the fins off and remove the stomach. The head can be left on or removed depending on how squeamish you are.

1 whole John Dory or another round fish like sea bream, sea bass, etc, weighing about 2kg for the stuffing
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
A good knob of butter
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
150g raw tiger prawns, peeled and finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/gas 7. Gently cook the fennel in the butter on a low heat, covered for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often until soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, prawns and 2 tablespoons of parsley and season.

Stuff into the cavity of the fish and then score the skin, season and sprinkle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for around 30-40 minutes per kilo. Scatter over the remaining parsley and baste with olive oil before serving.

Serve with a bearnaise sauce, a green salad and mashed or new potatoes.

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