Salmon can sometimes be pretty tricky to make at home. Instead of trying to get the internal temp right when baking or frying, why not try this great technique to make perfect poached salmon every time?
Poaching is one of those things that a lot of people treat with a great deal of trepidation. Naysayers will say that unless you have one of those fancy sous vide machines, that there is no point in trying to poach salmon, as you are sure to mess it up and overcook it accidentally.
However, as long as you follow this guide and pay attention to the doneness of your salmon, this is one of the easiest ways imaginable to get perfectly cooked salmon with no overcooked spots.
The trick is in the combination of both chicken broth and dry white wine. The gently simmering mixture not only flavors the salmon fillets but also makes it really easy to see when the fish might be starting to overcook, thanks to the clarity of the broth.
The addition of butter also really helps to keep everything moist, and then separating fat from the butter in the broth can make it very easy to see when you are cooking at just that little bit too high a temperature.
Poached Salmon Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.
• Salmon fillets, cut into 4 pieces
• Salt & pepper
• Chicken broth
• Dry white wine
• Fresh parsley
How To Make Poached Salmon
• Pat the salmon dry and then season with salt & pepper
• Divide the butter between the four pieces, spreading it on top
• Combine the wine and chicken broth into a medium-sized skillet that’s large enough to hold the 4 pieces of salmon
• Bring it to a low simmer and then add in the salmon pieces
• Poach for 15 minutes or until the meat flakes and is cooked through
• Plate each salmon piece and serve with fresh parsley and a wedge of lemon
How To Make Sure You Don’t Overcook Your Salmon
Everyone gets worried about overcooking salmon – after all, it seems like it goes from flaky and delicious to instantly overcooked and terrible in about a second, so what are you supposed to do to avoid that?
The trick is to keep carryover heat in mind. While this will happen a lot less when poaching, a salmon fillet will continue to cook after removing it from the simmering broth, thanks to the residual heat still in the fish.
This means that you really need to pull the salmon out of the broth before it is actually cooked. Try and take it out just as it is turning pink and no longer looks “raw.”
The standard test of whether or not you can flake it with a fork is a good thing to keep in mind. As soon as the outer flesh of the salmon can be pulled off with a fork, it should be done. Also, if you touch it, it should slightly wobble while still feeling slightly firm to the touch.
That’s how you don’t accidentally overcook your salmon and end up with juicy, delicious fish every time.
Could You Use a Sous Vide Instead?
Sous vide machines are rapidly becoming more accessible these days, so more and more people have a handy sous vide machine at home when they used to be only limited to professional kitchens.
This makes a sous vide machine a great alternative for this recipe. For those not aware of these seeming miracle machines, sous vide machine allows you to keep a small body of water to an exact temperature for an extended period of time. This makes it possible to poach salmon in a small bag with aromatics, cooking it to a specific temperature and then removing it perfectly cooked.
For those with sous vide machine, feel free to use it here; set it to 145 Fahrenheit and poach for about half an hour, depending on the size of your salmon, until the internal temp of the fish hits that magical temperature.
You will, however, completely lose out on the complex flavors of the butter, broth, and white wine that this has, so make sure you are putting plenty of flavorful aromatics into the bag before sealing it up.
Looking for more delicious Fish recipes? Try these out:
Enjoy! This is such a great, foolproof way to make salmon!
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- Prep Time
- 5 minutes
- Cook Time
- 15 minutes
- Main Course
- Karlynn Johnston
- 2 pounds salmon fillets cut into 4 pieces
- salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter softened
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup dry white wine
- fresh parsley
- lemon wedges
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pat the salmon dry then season with salt and pepper. Divide the butter evenly between the four pieces, spreading on top.
- Combine the wine and chicken broth into a medium sized skillet that's large enough to hold the 4 pieces of salmon. Bring to a low simmer.
- Place the salmon pieces into the simmering liquid.
- Keep at a low simmer and poach for 10-15 minutes until the meat flakes and is cooked completely.
- Plate each salmon piece and serve with fresh parsley and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over the top.
- Calories include all of the butter sauce, so will be less if you don’t eat all the simmering sauce.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.