Steamed Mussels with Orange, Fennel, and Garlic Recipe

  • 1 navel orange
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 shallots, chopped fine (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fennel bulb (sometimes called anise)
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 pound mussels (preferably cultivated), scrubbed well and beards pulled off
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  1. With a vegetable peeler remove three 3-by-1/2-inch strips orange zest. Cut remaining peel and pith from orange with a sharp knife and discard. Cut out fruit sections from between membranes, discarding membranes, and finely chop enough fruit to measure 1/3 cup, reserving remaining fruit for another use.
  2. In a large saucepan cook garlic paste, shallots, chopped fennel, and fennel seeds in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until chopped fennel is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in wine and zest and boil 1 minute. Add broth and return to a boil. Add mussels and cook, covered with a tight-fitting lid, over high heat, checking them every minute, 3 to 8 minutes, transferring them as they open with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl. (Discard any mussels that are unopened after 8 minutes.)
  3. Stir into broth chopped orange, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste and spoon over mussels.