12 servings

How to Make It

Step 1

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add shallots, and sauté until tender. Add chard and mushrooms, and sauté 6 minutes. Stir in whipping cream, next 4 ingredients, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Step 2

Trim fins from back, belly, and near gills of salmon with kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Rinse cavity, and stuff with chard mixture. Sprinkle fish with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Step 3

Cut a double thickness of cheesecloth 17 inches wide and 8 inches longer than fish. Place salmon lengthwise on cheesecloth; top with lemon slices. Wrap cheesecloth around fish; secure at regular intervals with kitchen twine, tie ends of cheesecloth with twine.

Step 4

Rinse fennel thoroughly. Trim and discard bulb bases. Trim tops from bulbs, reserving bulb and tops. Cut each bulb into 3 lengthwise slices. Place fennel tops and bulbs in a fish poacher or large roasting pan, if desired. Add wine to pan. Place fish on a rack in pan.

Step 5

Bake at 400° for 45 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of fish registers 135°. Let cool 15 minutes.

Step 6

Cut and remove twine; slit cheesecloth, and fold back. Remove fish head and tail, if desired. Keeping cheesecloth under fish, turn fish over carefully, so rack side faces up. Peel skin off using a paring knife. Holding cheesecloth, invert fish onto a serving platter, skin-side up. Peel off remaining skin, scrape away any brown fat. Garnish, if desired.

Step 7

Note: Turning fish twice to skin, as above, gives the prettiest presentation.

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