Marguerite Patten’s poached salmon

  • serves 6
  • Easy

Try Marguerite Patten's poached salmon this summer, cooked whole in a court bouillon. The ingredients are pretty basic, and makes a sophisticated hors d'oeuvre.



  • salmon 1 whole  about 1.4kg in weight.
  • water or fish stock or court bouillon 1.5 litres
  • onion 1 medium, peeled and sliced
  • carrot 1, peeled and sliced
  • lemon zest 2 slices
  • wine 300ml
  • bay leaf 1
  • parsley sprigs
  • lemon slices
  • parsley
  • sliced cucumber


  • Step 1

    To make the court bouillon, add the onion, carrot and lemon zest to 1.2 litres of water or fish stock along with the wine, bay leaf, parsley and a little seasoning.

  • Step 2

    Clean the fish by washing it well, slit down the stomach and remove the intestines (or ask the fishmonger to prepare it for you). It has always been traditional to leave both the head and tail on the fish. Scrape away the scales from the body with the back of a knife. Place the fish in your chosen cooking liquid. Gently bring to simmering point on the hob and then time the cooking. Allow 7 minutes per 450g for a fish up to 1.4kg. For a larger fish add an extra cooking time.

  • Step 3

    Carefully remove the fish from the cooking container. Remove the skin, but keep the fish intact. Garnish and serve.

    Recipe taken from A Century Of British Cooking by Marguerite Patten, published by Grub Street, hardback at £15.00