Lobster Bisque With Armagnac

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Ingredients

3 quarts water

Four 1 1/2 -pound live lobsters, split lengthwise

1/4 cup pure olive oil

1 pound fennel bulbs—halved, cored and coarsely chopped

2 medium celery ribs, coarsely chopped

1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and coarsely chopped

1 unpeeled head of garlic, halved crosswise

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups dry white wine

3 tablespoons Armagnac or Cognac, plus more for serving

1 thyme sprig

1 bay leaf

Large pinch of saffron threads

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

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