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A side of salmon, steamed with mirepoix and vermouth, stays tender and flavorful
Milk Street Bowtie Oven-Poached Salmon with Thyme, Dill and Vermouth

Oven-Poached Salmon with Thyme, Dill and Vermouth

1½ hours

Free

Holiday parties often call for feeding crowds at inconvenient times, usually wedged between hors d’oeuvres, conversations and opening presents. So we wanted an impressive main course that’s as good at room temperature as it is hot from the oven. A whole side of salmon proved an excellent choice. We found inspiration in an oven-poaching method we learned from French chef Michel Bras. He slow cooks smaller cuts of salmon in a 250ºF oven over a water-filled baking pan. To adapt the technique for a larger side of salmon, we ratcheted up the heat; surrounded the fish with carrots, celery, shallots and a bit of vermouth; and covered it all tightly with foil. This allowed the salmon to steam and be infused with flavor while cooking faster and staying tender. A fillet between 1½ and 1¾ inches thick worked best. We found temperature was a better indicator for doneness than cooking time. To test the salmon’s temperature, carefully peel back the foil just enough to insert an instant thermometer at the thickest end. The best way to perfectly cook this dish was to remove it from the oven a bit before the salmon was fully cooked. The residual heat gently finishes the cooking.

½ cup soy sauce
3½-4 pound salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
8 sprigs thyme
8 sprigs dill, plus 3 teaspoons, minced
Kosher salt
1 cup dry vermouth
Ground black pepper
2 tablespoons salted butter, chilled and cut into 2 pieces
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Lemon wedges, to serve
Ingredients
  • ½

    cup soy sauce

  • 3½-4

    pound salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed

  • 2

    medium carrots, finely chopped

  • 1

    celery rib, finely chopped

  • 1

    shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 8

    sprigs thyme

  • 8

    sprigs dill, plus 3 teaspoons, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • 1

    cup dry vermouth

  • Ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter, chilled and cut into 2 pieces

  • 1

    tablespoon lemon juice

  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Oven Poached Salmon Thumbnail

MILK STREET HOLIDAYS

Holiday fish without the fuss

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 500ºF with a rack in the middle position. Pour the soy sauce into a baking dish large enough to fit the salmon. Add the fish, flesh down. Marinate 15 to 20 minutes. 
    See Demo
  2. 02
    Meanwhile, in a bowl toss the carrots, celery, shallot, thyme, dill and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside. Fold an 18-inch-long sheet of foil lengthwise into a strip wide enough for the salmon to fit on. Lightly coat the foil with oil, then place it, oiled side up, in the center of a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the carrot-celery mixture around the outside edges of the foil. Drizzle the vegetables with the vermouth. Place the salmon on the foil, flesh up. Season with pepper
    See Demo
    Prepare the baking sheet
  3. 03
    Cover the entire pan tightly with foil, allowing it to dome over the salmon. Roast until the salmon registers 120ºF, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, keeping the foil in place, and let the salmon rest until it is between 125ºF and 130º, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the top foil, then use the foil under the salmon to lift and transfer it to a serving platter. Let cool for 5 minutes.
    See Demo
  4. 04
    Meanwhile, strain the liquid and solids on the baking sheet into a saucepan. Discard the solids and all but ¾ cup of the liquid. Over medium heat, bring the liquid to a simmer. Off of the heat, stir in the butter, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon dill. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 3 tablespoons of the sauce over the salmon. Sprinkle the remaining 2 teaspoons dill over the salmon. Serve with lemon wedges and the remaining sauce.
    See Demo
Tip: Don’t marinate the salmon longer than 20 minutes. The soy sauce adds an earthy dimension to the salmon’s flavor, but if left too long its saltiness will become overpowering.
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Oven-Poached Salmon with Thyme, Dill and Vermouth

Get Ready to Cook

8

Servings

1½ hours

Tip

Don’t marinate the salmon longer than 20 minutes. The soy sauce adds an earthy dimension to the salmon’s flavor, but if left too long its saltiness will become overpowering.

Ingredients
  • ½

    cup soy sauce

  • 3½-4

    pound salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed

  • 2

    medium carrots, finely chopped

  • 1

    celery rib, finely chopped

  • 1

    shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 8

    sprigs thyme

  • 8

    sprigs dill, plus 3 teaspoons, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • 1

    cup dry vermouth

  • Ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter, chilled and cut into 2 pieces

  • 1

    tablespoon lemon juice

  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Oven Poached Salmon Thumbnail

MILK STREET HOLIDAYS

Holiday fish without the fuss

Step 1 of 4

Marinate the salmon

½
cup soy sauce
3½-4
pound salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed

Heat the oven to 500ºF with a rack in the middle position. Pour the soy sauce into a baking dish large enough to fit the salmon. Add the fish, flesh down. Marinate 15 to 20 minutes. 

Step 2 of 4

Prepare the baking sheet

2
medium carrots, finely chopped
1
celery rib, finely chopped
1
shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
8
springs thyme
8
sprigs dill
1
teaspoon Kosher salt
1
cup dry Vermouth
ground black pepper

Meanwhile, in a bowl toss the carrots, celery, shallot, thyme, dill and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.


Fold an 18-inch-long sheet of foil lengthwise into a strip wide enough for the salmon to fit on. Lightly coat the foil with oil, then place it, oiled side up, in the center of a rimmed baking sheet.


Arrange the carrot-celery mixture around the outside edges of the foil. Drizzle the vegetables with the vermouth. Place the salmon on the foil, flesh up. Season with pepper

Step 3 of 4

Roast the salmon

Cover the entire pan tightly with foil, allowing it to dome over the salmon. Roast until the salmon registers 120ºF, 20 to 25 minutes.


Remove the pan from the oven, keeping the foil in place, and let the salmon rest until it is between 125ºF and 130º, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the top foil, then use the foil under the salmon to lift and transfer it to a serving platter. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Step 4 of 4

Make the sauce and serve

2
tablespoons salted butter
1
tablespoon lemon juice
3
teaspoons dill, minced
lemon wedges

Meanwhile, strain the liquid and solids on the baking sheet into a saucepan. Discard the solids and all but ¾ cup of the liquid. Over medium heat, bring the liquid to a simmer.


Off of the heat, stir in the butter, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon dill. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 3 tablespoons of the sauce over the salmon. Sprinkle the remaining 2 teaspoons dill over the salmon. Serve with lemon wedges and the remaining sauce.

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