Talk about easy! This "poached" salmon recipe isn't necessarily about long cooking but it definitely highlights a slow cooker's other abilities — like putting something into the pot and walking away. What you get is a moist, flavorful salmon without the usual worries of dry, overcooked fish.
Just like in my recipe for slow cooker "baked" rigatoni, this poached salmon recipe is all about ease. The slow cooker here isn't used to braise a tough cut of meat or even turn a few humble ingredients into something greater than the sum of its parts. But it does provide a nice respite from washing a week's worth of dishes! (And it tastes delicious, too.)
I started with one stunning slab of skin-on salmon purchased from my fish counter. I made a simple court bouillon — a quick, aromatic stock often used for poaching fish and shellfish — directly in the slow cooker. The fish gets added to the flavorful broth after about 30 minutes, and that's the most work you have to do. Just turn the cooker on low and let it go. Do check back often: I researched recipes that called for cooking times of two hours or longer, but I found that my fish was done in less than one. (I like my salmon on the medium side.)
This recipe was so very easy, I'll definitely be making it again. What's great is you can use almost any herbs you have on hand to make a stock. Next time I may even try poaching it in olive oil! Another perk? I had more than enough fish for dinner for two, which makes planning lunches this week a breeze. I plan on repurposing the leftovers into salmon cakes and salmon BLTs. Definitely not a bad way to get in my omega 3's!
Slow Cooker Poached Salmon
2 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
5-6 sprigs fresh herbs, such as tarragon, dill, and/or Italian parsley
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds skin-on salmon (or 4-6 fillets), preferably farm-raised
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, coarse sea salt, and olive oil for serving
Combine water, wine, lemon, shallots, bay leaf, herbs, peppercorns and salt in the slow cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes.
Season the top of the salmon with salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker, skin side down. Cover and cook on low until salmon is opaque in color and flakes gently with a fork. Start checking for desired doneness after 45 minutes to an hour and continue cooking until preferred doneness is reached. (Salmon can be held on the warm setting for several hours.)
Drizzle salmon with good-quality olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
(Images: Nealey Dozier)