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Salmon Slow-Cooked with Herbs

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: Anyone who enjoys eating salmon for dinner will love this recipe for Salmon Slow Cooked with Herbs. This easy salmon recipe will help you get dinner on the table without breaking a sweat because your slow cooker will do most of the work. The finished salmon is served with a rich and flavorful sauce made from the slow cooker juices. The best thing about this easy slow cooker recipe is that you can switch things up by using different vegetables, such as carrots and peppers, instead of the usual potatoes and celery. 
Salmon is one of the few fish sturdy enough for braising, but like all fish, it can be ruined by overcooking. So for this recipe, you will need either a cooker with a timer that allows it to switch to warm automatically, or you will have to reserve this dish for a day when you will be around to monitor the cooking. The setup of the cooker is also a bit unusual: a layer of vegetables is topped with a strip of foil, onto which you place the salmon. This construction has a double benefit: The foil barrier causes the vegetables to cook faster than the fish, so they are both done at the same time. It also acts as a sling for lifting the fish without damaging it. Vegetables and salmon are glazed elegantly with a buttery herb sauce made from the reduced cooking liquid.

Serves6 servings

Cooking MethodSlow Cooking

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 4 hours

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free

EquipmentCrock Pot

MealDinner

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into thin slices
  • 1 medium onion, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into thin slices
  • 2 pounds farm-raised salmon fillet, pin bones removed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, basil, and/or tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Drizzle the bottom of a 5- to 6-quart oval slow cooker with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Layer the potatoes, onion, and celery over the bottom. Place a 2-foot length of 12-inch-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil lengthwise across the cooker and press down so that it covers the vegetables and the sides of the crock, and the ends of the foil extend over the rim at each end of the crock.

  2. Season the flesh side of the salmon with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Brown the flesh side of the salmon in the oil, about 2 minutes. Place the salmon, skin side down, on top of the foil.

  3. Add the wine to the pan and heat to boiling. Stir in the water and pour over the salmon. Set the skillet aside for later use. Cover the cooker and cook on low for 2½ to 3 hours, until the salmon flakes when pressed gently. You can keep the salmon on warm for several hours.

  4. To serve, use the foil to lift the salmon from the cooker and transfer to a large platter. Lift the vegetables from the cooker with a slotted spoon and arrange around the fish. Pour the liquid from the cooker into the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until reduced to about ¾ cup of liquid. Add the herbs and boil for 1 minute; remove from the heat and swirl in the butter. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper and pour the sauce over the fish and vegetables. Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. It is important to use farm-raised, rather than wild, salmon in a slow cooker. Wild fish do not develop as much fat as their more sedentary farm-raised cousins, and they tend to dry during cooking. They are fine for grilling or baking, but are not an option for the slow cooker.

  2. For a change, try thin slices of carrot and bell pepper in place of the potatoes and celery.

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