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Poached Halibut in Lemon-Thyme Broth


Cooking halibut in lemon-and-thyme-infused broth imparts a delicate taste. The poaching liquid is delicious, too, so serve this dish with a spoon.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2004


  • 3 lemons
  • 3 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 halibut fillets (6 ounces each), without skin
  • Coarse salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove zest in strips from 2 lemons. Juice zested lemons. Transfer zest and juice to a 12-inch straight-sided skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add stock, garlic, 4 sprigs thyme, and the peppercorns to the pan. Bring to a boil.

  2. Season each fillet on both sides with salt; carefully add to skillet. Cover skillet, and turn off the heat. Let stand until fish is opaque and firm to the touch, 9 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer fish to a platter; tent loosely with foil to keep warm.

  3. Pour poaching liquid through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Return to skillet. Bring to a boil; turn off heat.

  4. Divide broth among wide bowls; gently place a fish fillet in each. Cut remaining lemon into wedges. Garnish each serving with a wedge of lemon and a sprig of thyme, and lightly drizzle with oil.

Cook's Notes

If you can't get fillets already skinned, remove the skins after cooking. Sea bass and striped bass are also delicious poached.

Reviews Add a comment

  • cgnyny
    13 MAY, 2012
    Very good recipe. This is a great, light dish that is easy to make and has great flavors. The halibut, lemon and thyme are a great combination. General comment on this was that the lemon was a bit too strong: I would recommend the zest from just one lemon. I would also keep the burner on very low when you put the fish in the poaching liquid, to keep it warm. But overall a great meal!
  • Dianeinri
    3 AUG, 2011
    Tried this 2 times with two different white fish. Came out great each time. Poaching fish...who knew you could poach more than just an egg!
  • perambulator
    7 AUG, 2010
    Fantastic. Simple to make with ingredients at hand. The broth is intensely lemony, but rewarding