Merry fish-mas! Poached Whole Salmon with Dill and Citrus Dressing

Fancy something a bit different this year? Why not try scallops with pancetta, a platter of poached salmon or spicy prawn cocktails


  • 2.5kg-2.75kg (5lb-6lb) whole salmon, gutted and descaled
  • 1 each onion, carrot and celery stalk, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few peppercorns
  • ½ cucumber, very finely sliced


  • 3tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 1tsp grated orange peel
  • 2tbsp fresh chopped dill
  • 3tbsp olive oil


Put the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves and peppercorns into a fish kettle and fill with enough water to come up to 7.5cm (3in). Bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Carefully lower the salmon into the fish kettle, bring back to the boil then reduce the heat and poach gently for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and leave the salmon in the kettle. Check every 15-20 minutes to make sure it is not overcooking – the fish is ready when the large fin in the centre of the back pulls out easily (about 35-40 minutes).

Allow the salmon to become completely cold – if the fish is ready before the stock has cooled simply place the kettle into iced water. The fish will remain moist if you cool it in the stock. Lift the salmon out of the kettle, carefully remove and discard the skin, and place on a fish platter.

Whisk together the orange and lime juice, honey, orange peel and dill in small bowl. Add the oil and season. Decorate the fish with the cucumber. Drizzle over the dressing, and garnish with baby watercress.


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