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Mussels in a Creamy Saffron Broth

‘Moules Frites’ or Mussels with Chips is one of the traditional dishes served in French cafes. Try our version of this dish with a creamy saffron broth.



  • 2 kg of Mussels
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 4 echalotes , finely chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 small leek, chopped
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 125ml of thickened cream
  • 20 g of butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A couple of thyme sprigs
  • Saffron

Note: Discard any Mussels that are already open and don't close when tapped gently on a work surface.

If the Mussels are fresh you will need to clean them to remove any barnacles or the like that may be growing on the shells. You will also need to remove their beards. The beard is a fibrous tuft that the Mussel uses to anchor itself to a rock or the like when out in the ocean.


Start the cooking process

Step 1

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and cook the onion, garlic, leek and fennel, stirring occasionally, over moderate heat. The onion should be softened not browned.

Step 2

Add the mussels and stir them gently. Add the wine, bay leave and thyme. Cover the saucepan and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Add the Mussels
The cooked mussels

Step 3

After the five minutes, remove the mussels from the pan and keep them in a bowl. The Mussels should have opened, throw away any mussels that haven’t.

Step 4

Return the liquid to the boil. Add the saffron. Boil the liquid for 2 minutes. Add the cream and reheat the sauce without boiling.

Finish the broth.
Serve with chips

Step 5

Serve the mussels in individual bowl with the sauced poured over. Server with a portion of chips. For details on how to make your own Fresh Chips see our Hot Chips page.