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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.

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