In a small bowl, combine the saffron and boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the rice under cold water. Place the rice, 1 3/4 cups water, and saffron in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper, and either spoon into the bouillabaisse or serve on the side.