Published January 1, 2011. From Cook's Illustrated.
Why this recipe works:
Our teriyaki-inspired glaze complemented the fatty salmon and stuck to the fish thanks to a little cornstarch, which we sprinkled, along with brown sugar and salt, onto the exterior of the glazed salmon.
Use center-cut salmon fillets of similar thickness so that they cook at the same rate. The best way to ensure uniformity is to buy a 1 1/2- to 2-pound whole center-cut fillet and cut it into 4 pieces. Prepare the glaze before you cook the salmon. If your nonstick skillet isn't ovensafe, sear the salmon as directed in step 2, then transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet, glaze it, and bake the salmon as directed in step 3.
1teaspoon light brown sugar
4 center-cut skin-on salmon fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each (see note)
Ground black pepper
1teaspoon vegetable oil
1recipe glaze (see related)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch in small bowl. Pat salmon dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over top of flesh side of salmon, rubbing to distribute.
2. Heat oil in 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place salmon, flesh side down, in skillet and cook until well browned, about 1 minute. Using tongs, carefully flip salmon and cook on skin side for 1 minute.
3. Remove skillet from heat and spoon glaze evenly over salmon fillets. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until center of thickest part of fillets registers 125 degrees on instant-read thermometer and is still translucent when cut into with paring knife, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer fillets to platter or individual plates and serve.
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