Poached Salmon with Orange Tarragon Mayonnaise

All, Seafood

I learned this recipe in a class by Chef Larry in San Diego, and it has been a household favorite ever since. One interesting difference is provided by the use of orange rather than the typical lemon flavor in this dish.

Our favorite salmon comes from CostCo, where the large filets are already skinned and de-boned. These filets are large enough to cut into five or six or more serving pieces. In the photo, I’ve served the salmon with Swiss chard fresh from our garden.


4 cups fish stock, chicken stock, or clam juice
2 large bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
6 whole cloves, or 1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup white wine
2 sprigs fresh tarragon, or 2 teaspoons dried
orange slices for garnish


Combine the ingredients and bring to a simmer. While it’s simmering, take a few minutes and make the Orange Tarragon Mayonnaise.

Cut the salmon filets into serving size pieces, and use long-nose pliers to remove the pin bones if necessary. (Gently feel the salmon with your fingers, and you’ll find the bones.) If the salmon hasn’t been skinned yet, it’s easiest to do so after it’s cooked.

The poaching liquid should be just below boiling temperature, so if it’s been simmering, turn the heat down a little. Place three or four pieces into the liquid, and let sit for two or three minutes. If they are thick enough to not be completely submerged, use two spatulas to gently turn them over and cook another two or three minutes.

Remove from the poaching liquid to plates, and garnish with orange slices and the orange tarragon mayonnaise.

Orange Tarragon Mayonnaise

Here’s what you need to make Orange Tarragon Mayonnaise:

2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons orange zest (grated orange peel)
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let it sit around a while for the flavors to blend, especially if you used dried herbs.

Man, that was a tough recipe, wasn’t it?


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