Wine Poached Salmon with Herb-Caper Vinaigrette {recipe}

Wine Poached Salmon

This recipe is from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook, which we are giving away! You have until Wednesday September 12, 2012 5 PM pst to enter!

We’re not ashamed to claim that we love salmon. We know that ordering it in a restaurant is the oceanic equivalent of ordering a grilled chicken breast, but we’re okay with that. It is precisely for that reason that we do order salmon (and chicken if there actually is chicken on the menu) at a restaurant because if they can make salmon awesome, it will be worth coming back to the restaurant to try everything else…

The same logic applies to cookbooks. If there is a recipe for salmon in a cookbook, we usually try that one first, to see if the recipe can make salmon interesting and awesome, and also be well-written enough that someone as average as me in the kitchen can actually cook it without undercooking, overcooking, or generally just eff-ing it up.
Salmon Poaching with Wine in Pan
Obviously, any recipe for salmon or other from America’s Test Kitchen is going to be incredibly reliable and consistent and delicious since that is the whole point of America’s Test Kitchen. They test recipes over and over and over and try to tweak things to account for any possibility of messing up. Poached Salmon, one of four recipes for salmon in The Complete America’s Text Kitchen Cookbook, accounts for possible washed-out flavor, dryness, and uneven cooking.

Their resulting recipe using lemon, herbs, and white wine as the poaching liquid and adding a pungent herb-caper vinaigrette, is a winner, at least in the TasteSpotting Kitchen. We’ll definitely be making this, with our own little tweaks, at least a few more times before salmon season is over.
Altesse White Wine from Savoie

Poached Salmon with Herb and Caper Vinaigrette {recipe}

adapted from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook


2 lemons
1 large shallot (I used red onions because the shallots I bought ended up being bad!)
2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves, stems reserved
2 tablespoons minced tarragon leaves, stems reserved
½ cup dry white wine (I used Altesse white table wine from Savoie)
½ cup water
1 1¾-2 pound skinless salmon fillet, about 1½ inches at thickest part
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey (I left this out and it tasted fine to us!)
salt and pepper to taste


Cut ends off lemons. Slice one lemon into 8-10 ¼-inch thick slices. Cut the other lemon into wedges and set aside.

Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer across the bottom of a 12-inch skillet. Scatter 2 tablespoons of minced shallots and herb stems over the lemons. Add wine and water.

Use a sharp knife to trim any whitish fat from the belly of the fillet and cut into four equal pieces. Place the salmon fillets in the skillet skinned-side down on top of the lemon slices.

Set the pan over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the sides of the fillet are opaque but the center of the thickest part of the fillets is still translucent (or until the thickest part of the fillets registers 125°F on instant-read thermometer), about 11-16 minutes. (Our salmon took exactly 11 minutes.)

Remove the pan from the heat and using a spatula, carefully transfer the salmon and lemon slices to a paper-towel-lined plate. Tent loosely with foil.

Return the pan to high heat and simmer the cooking liquid until slightly thickened and reduced to 2 tablespoons, 4 – 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons shallots, minced herbs, capers, olive oil, and honey in a bowl. Strain the reduced cooking liquid through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl with the herb-caper mixture, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Season the salmon lightly with salt and pepper. Using a spatula, carefully lift and tilt the salmon fillets to remove the lemon slices. Place the salmon on a serving platter or individual plates and spoon the vinaigrette over the top.

Serve, passing reserved lemon wedges separately.

by Sarah J. Gim on September 11, 2012 · 1 comment

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

pic rest September 12, 2012 at 3:07 am

Excellent recipe. Simple and delicious recipes. Good for you.


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