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Salmon with Crispy Skin, Potatoes and Herb Dijon Broth

Today's recipe comes to us from Matt Wright, who as he says, is “an English bloke” now living in the Pacific Northwest where he pursues his passion to cook, photograph, and write about simple, clean food.
Matt especially loves to prepare beautiful seafood dishes, and you can check them out, along with Matt's other delicious recipes, at his WrightFood blog.
We eagerly await the release date for Matthew's first cookbook, Fished In: The Adventures of a Seafood Cook Wanting More, and will let you know when it is available.
Matt Wright, author of the WrightFood blog
Here's how Matt describes today's recipe, which he adapted from an old edition of Bon Appétit:

“The recipe called for skin off, but a lot of the nutrients in fish [omega-3s] are right under the skin, so keep that bad-boy hanging around. I cooked the fish without the skin on, but then fried the skin until it was really crispy and crunchy… a perfect textural pairing to a soft warm, light, brothy dish.”
Matt used half of a whole 24 oz sockeye fillet side (12 oz), but you could substitute two of our 6 oz skin-on silver salmon or skin-on king salmon portions, and skin them as he instructs (see "A quick way to skin a fillet" below).
Or, just use some of our skinless salmon portions (sockeye or king) and skip the entire skin-frying portion of the proceedings. It'll still be a delicious preparation!

Salmon with Crispy Skin, Potatoes and Herb Dijon Broth

Serves 2

3/4 lb (12 oz) of skin-on wild sockeye salmon fillet, skinned and cut into two pieces, or two skin-on silver salmon or skin-on king salmon portions, which average 6 oz each
8 small fingerling or small purple potatoes
3 small shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
A quick way to skin a fillet
Here's Matthew's advice for skinning our sockeye fillets, which we affirm as a good way to go!

“We all know there is more than one way to skin a cat… the same goes for fish too. The easiest method, if you have a sharp knife, is as follows:”

  • Lay the fillet skin side down on a chopping board
  • Take a really sharp knife, preferably with a thin blade. Lay it flat with the board. Put the knife cutting edge just above the skin, on the short side of the fillet - keeping the knife flat (parallel with the chopping board)
  • Put your not-knife hand on top of the fillet to stop it from moving.
  • Gently and smoothly slice horizontally just above the skin, through the fillet, making sure the tip and bolster ends of the knife are level (so we aren't cutting a wedge). Slice from one end of the fish to the other, keeping your other hand on top of the fish at all times.
  • With a sharp knife, this will literally take a few seconds, and yield a mush cleaner removal of the skin than putting the fillet skin side up, and hacking away at it.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, and a couple of whole leaves for garnish
3 cups chicken broth (split into two 11/2 cup measures)
1 scant tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 handfuls of spinach

Preheat oven to 400 F

  • Wash the potatoes, but don't peel them. Cut the larger ones in half, so they are all roughly the same size. Put in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 6-8 minutes—until the potatoes are almost cooked all the way through (if you poke one with a knife, it should still be a little firm in the middle). When done, strain and run cold water on them to cool.
  • In a small saucepan add the shallots, 1‒1/2 cups of chicken broth and the vinegar. Bring to the boil, and let it cook down for about 5 minutes—until reduced to almost half. Now add to this the rest of the chicken stock, the mustard and tarragon. Get boiling again, then just keep warm.
  • Whilst this is happening get a medium/large non-stick pan hot over a medium-high flame. Add a little olive oil and a tablespoon of butter. Add both fillets of salmon to the pan, what would have been skin side down. Cook for a couple of minutes until lightly seared. Flip, and do the same for the other side.
  • Place the fish in a roasting pan, and surround it with the potatoes. Pour over the broth, making sure to add all the shallots and tarragon to the pan—don't leave any behind!
  • Place in the oven for about 1015 minutes until the salmon is just cooked through.
  • Whilst that is in the oven we are going to fry up the salmon skin, and wilt the spinach. Get that non-stick pan hot again over a high heat. Add a little more oil/butter if needed. Put the salmon skin in the pan, making sure it lays flat. Cook on one side for about 4 minutes, then the other side for about 4 minutes also. You want to make sure the skin is nice and crispy. Remove from the pan, and place on paper towel to drain.
  • In a large sauté pan, get a little olive oil hot over a medium heat. Add the spinach. Keep the spinach turning, and it should wilt pretty quickly. When all leaves have wilted, remove from the heat.
  • To serve: Get two bowls. Divide the spinach between the two bowls. Add the potatoes/shallots to the bowls. Top with the salmon, and pour the broth over. Serve with a few slices of the crispy fish skin.

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