Recipe: How to poach fish

|February 21, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Poaching is a gentle cooking method, perfect for seafood, as it gives fish lots of moisture without masking its delicate flavor. Using a fish poacher makes poaching easier, as the rack allows you to pull the fish out of the hot liquid in one beautiful piece, while the poacher's shape allows you to use a minimum of liquid.

Making the court bouillon:

The traditional poaching liquid for fish, court bouillon is a broth made from simmering aromatic vegetables and herbs in water or stock, with the addition of lemon juice, vinegar or white wine.

1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
1 stalk celery, sliced 1/2" thick
4 sprigs parsley
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 T coarse salt
10 whole peppercorns
1 cup white wine or 1/2 cup white wine vinegar or 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 quarts water, vegetable or chicken stock (unsalted or low sodium)

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Strain and cool. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Can be frozen up to 3 months.

Poaching the fish:

Use any firm-fleshed fish. Wipe the poacher rack with a little cooking oil to prevent the fish from sticking. Clean the fish. Leave head and tail on if desired. (See How to Clean and Fillet a Fish for more information on this step.)

Place the fish on the rack and set the rack in the bottom of the poacher. Ladle enough cooled court bouillon over fish to completely cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook the fish gently until done, 8 to 12 minutes. Check for doneness by making a small knife cut in the middle of the fish, parallel to the backbone. The flesh should pull away from the bone and no longer be translucent. When done, remove fish from poacher, allowing liquid to drain off. Remove the skin by cutting through it at the base of the head and peel down to the tail. Turn fish onto a serving platter and peel the skin off that side. Fish is now ready to serve. Horseradish Relish makes a wonderful compliment.

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