Monday, December 27, 2010

Salmon Piccata

Salmon Piccata
(adapted from a Cooks' Illustrated recipe)

2 large lemons
4 salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons drained small capers
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set large heatproof plate on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees.

2. Halve 1 lemon pole to pole.  Trim ends from one half and cut crosswise into slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick; set aside.  Juice remaining half and whole lemon to obtain 1/4 cup juice; reserve.

3. Sprinkle both sides of fillets with salt and pepper.  Measure flour into pie tin or shallow baking dish.  Working 1 fillet at a time, coat with flour, and shake to remove excess.

4. Heat heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes; add 2 tablespoons oil and swirl pan to coat.  Lay half of the salmon fillets in the skillet.  Saute, without moving them, until lightly browned on first side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.  Turn fillets and cook until second side is lightly browned, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes longer.  Remove pan from heat and transfer fillets to plate in oven.  Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to now-empty skillet and heat until shimmering.  Add remaining fillets and repeat.

5. Add onion to now-empty skillet and return skillet to medium heat.  Saute until translucent, add broth and lemon slices, increase heat to high, and scrape skillet bottom with wooden spoon or spatula to loosen browned bits.  Simmer until liquid reduces to about 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes.  Add lemon juice and capers and simmer until sauce reduces again to 1/3 cup, about 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat and swirl in butter until butter melts and thickens sauce; swirl in parsley.  Spoon sauce over fillets and serve immediately.

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