1. Gut, scale and clean the fish. Save the heads, tails and carcasses. If the fish monger has them, get them back. Cut the fish into 2 X 4” pieces and set aside.
2. Prepare the fish broth. Rinse the fish heads, tails, and carcasses in cold water. Break the carcasses into pieces. In a large stockpot, melt the butter, then cook the sliced onions until soft but not brown, stirring occasionally. Add the fish heads and bones and cover with the cold water. Put in one of the bouquet garni and the wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with lid tilted and simmer for 2 hours, skimming occasionally. Strain the fish broth through a conical strainer and set aside to cool. Discard all the fish bits. You should have 10 cups of fish broth when finished. Clean the stockpot for later use.
3. as soon as you get the fish broth going, marinate the fish in a large ceramic or glass bowl with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, half of the chopped garlic, and the saffron threads for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
4. Place the mussels and clams in very cold fresh water to soak and purge a bit. Beard the muscles.
5. Boil the Lobster, and if using shrimp as usual and set aside to cool. When cool remove lobster tails from shell, devein and cut into 2” X 2” pieces. Shell and devein the shrimp. If you don’t know how to do this you’re on the wrong page.
6. In the large stockpot, heat the remaining 1 1/4 cups olive oil over medium heat, then cook the chopped onions, leeks, and celery for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomatoes, the remaining garlic, the remaining bouquet garni, the orange zest, and fennel seeds. Stir in the reserved fish broth and the saffron steeped in wine and season with a little salt and pepper Remember that the clams and mussels will add salt to the dish when they are added. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 40 minutes. The broth can be left over very low heat, covered, for hours. If you’re going to rest a while put the lobster and shrimp in the fridge.
7. When you are ready to prepare the final stages of the bouillabaisse, bring the broth back to a furious, rolling boil. Keep the broth boiling furiously so the oil emulsifies. Add the oily fish and boil, uncovered, over very high heat for 8 minutes. Shake the pot to prevent sticking. Now put the firm-fleshed white fish, lobster, muscles & clams in and boil hard for 6 minutes. Add more boiling water if necessary to cover the fish. Shake the casserole or pot occasionally. Mix the tomato paste and anise liqueur.
8. Carefully remove the fish, lobster, shrimp, calms and muscles from the broth with a slotted spoon and spatula or skimmer and transfer to a large bowl or deep platter.
9. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a soup tureen or large bowl, discarding what doesn't go through. Whisk in the tomato paste-and-anise mixture. Add the fish, lobster, clams and muscles to the broth and serve with the croûtes and sauce rouille on separate plates.
By jove, I think you’ve got it. Bon for sure Apatite.