Poached Salmon

The fish is poached in a vegetable - wine broth and then chilled, perfect for entertaining or a light meal on a hot day.
Start this recipe early in the day or a day ahead to allow time for the fish to cool after cooking. The original recipe called for using a 26" long fish poacher to cook a whole fish, dressed, with the tail and head on. This version is for 2 1/2 pounds of fillet, skin on, that will easily fit in a large cast iron skillet or standard size roasting pan.
Based on a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, Zoe Coulson, Hearst Books, New York, 1980.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: < 30 Min Prep w/Longer Cook Time, Main Course - Seafood, Prepare Ahead - Serve Later
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white table wine
  • 2 medium carrots sliced, not necessary to peel
  • 1 medium onion cut into thin wedges or a large leek sliced thin
  • 1 stalk celery sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 1/2 pounds whole salmon fillet with skin on


  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • parsley or watercress sprigs


  • If you don't have a fish poacher, a roasting pan with a wire rack will work fine or, otherwise a cast iron skillet large enough to fit fish.
    Add first 9 ingredients (water through bay leaf) to pan. Heat to boiling.
  • Place salmon on poaching rack. Add additional water until level is about half height of fish. Cover with foil and simmer 30 minutes or until fish flakes in center when tested with fork.
  • Used 2 pancake turners to carefully lift salmon out of broth and place on serving platter. Cover; chill well.
  • To serve, garnish with lemon slices and parsley.


This recipe will pair well with many salads. Green Bean and New Potato Salad works well.