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Whole Roasted Salmon with Orange Butter Glaze

Roasting a whole fish looks more daunting than it is. There are a few secrets to success: First, place the salmon on cheesecloth before roasting so it will be easy to transport from pan to platter. Also, deglaze the pan before removing the fish: Pour a small amount of wine into the hot pan to loosen any part of the salmon skin that might stick.

  • yield: Serves 12

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Ingredients

  • 4 leeks, trimmed of dark-green stem, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 whole salmon, about 8 pounds, head and tail on, scaled, cleaned
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
  • 6 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dry white wine

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 400 degrees. Strew bottom of 12-by-18-inch jelly-roll pan or 12-by-16-inch half-sheet pan with leeks; set aside. With a sharp knife, cut away the peel, pith, and outer membranes from 2 oranges; slice orange flesh into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Rinse salmon under cold water, making sure cavity of fish is completely clean. Pat fish dry with paper towel. Cut 3 shallow slits through salmon's skin, about 3 inches apart, on each side of fish. Season salmon cavity with salt and pepper.

  3. Step 3

    Stuff cavity with cilantro sprigs, reserved orange rounds, and onion rounds. Drape a large piece of cheesecloth over leeks in bottom of roasting pan. Place salmon on top of cheesecloth.

  4. Step 4

    Squeeze juice from remaining 2 oranges into small saucepan; place pan over medium-high heat, and bring juice to a boil. Add butter, and stir until melted; remove pan from heat. Brush salmon with orange-juice mixture. Place roasting pan in oven, and roast salmon, basting every 10 minutes with orange-juice mixture, until skin is crispy and dark golden brown and meat is pink and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. If head or tail of fish become too dark, gently fold aluminum foil over them. Remove pan from oven; pour wine into pan to help loosen salmon. Using cheesecloth to help lift fish, carefully transfer to serving platter. Gently remove cheesecloth from under fish, and serve.

Source
Celebrating 2000, Special Issue 2000

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