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Olive Oil Poached Salmon

Olive Oil Poached Salmon by chef Thomas Keller

This is a technique we use at all my restaurants for poaching fish in olive oil. It produces a result vastly different than other cooking methods. The finished salmon will have the intense colour of uncooked salmon and may appear undercooked, but will have the texture of cooked salmon. Quickly soaking the salmon in salted water will keep most of the milky white protein from coating the exterior of the fish as it cooks. This is the time to use a good, but not necessarily expensive olive oil. If the oil taste seems too assertive, the fish can be poached in half olive oil and half canola oil.

Serve the fish warm or at room temperature drained or with a drizzle of the poaching olive oil. Some of my favorite accompaniments to salmon are a green salad, glazed onions, a citrus garnish or fresh peas.
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• 2 pounds centre cut salmon fillet (six 4 to 5 oz. pieces), skinned and boned
• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coarse salt
• About 1 to 1 1/2 bottles (16 ounces) extra virgin olive oil

Place around 1 litre of ice cold water in a dish large enough to hold the pieces of salmon in a single layer. Stir in the salt then add the fish to the water to soak for 3 to 4 minutes. The exterior of the fish will have a slick, slippery feeling. Dry the fish on a paper towel.

Place 1/2-inch of olive oil in the Copper-Core sauteuse. Add the salmon fillets. Add additional oil to cover the fish by 1/8 inch. Remove the fish from the oil and set aside on a tray.

Place the oil over medium heat until the oil reaches 125°F. Add the fish to the oil, skinned side up and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the oil temperature at 125°F. The finished fish will have a translucent quality.

Remove from the heat. The salmon may be served immediately or left to rest in the oil for up to an hour before serving. Drain the fish or serve with a drizzle of the cooking oil.

Serves 6

Chef Thomas Keller's tip



"It is important to monitor the temperature of the oil as the salmon cooks, however, once cooked, the heat can be turned off and the fish can rest in the oil for up to an hour without overcooking."
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