Salmon Fricassee

Salmon Fricasse recipe
Photo: Marcus Nilsson
Prep Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins

In this pescatarian take on the classic chicken entrée, salmon fillets are seared in a hot skillet to get their skin crispy, then braised in a bath of white wine, clam juice, fennel, and tarragon. A last minute mixture of cream and egg yolks enriches the cooking liquid, transforming it into a cling-to-your-fork sauce destined for draping over the fish.


  • 4 skin-on salmon fillets (each about 6 ounces), preferably Wild Alaskan

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped (1 cup)

  • 1 celery stalk, cut into a ¼-inch dice (½ cup)

  • 1 small fennel bulb, cored and cut into a ¼-inch dice (1 cup), plus tender fronds for serving

  • 6 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered if large (1 ½ cups)

  • 4 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

  • 2 bottles (each 8 ounces) clam juice, or 2 cups fish stock, such as Bar Harbor

  • 2 tarragon sprigs, plus picked leaves, sliced if large, for serving

  • 1 small dried bay leaf, or half a large leaf

  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature

  • ¼ cup heavy cream, room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Cooked white rice or crusty bread, for serving


  1. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Heat a large straight-sided skillet or wide, shallow pot over medium-high; add 1 tablespoon butter and oil. When foam subsides, add salmon, skin-sides down. Cook, undisturbed, until skin is crisp and fish turns opaque halfway up sides, about 5 minutes (if butter begins to brown, lower heat). Transfer salmon to a plate, skin-sides up.

  2. Reduce heat to medium-low; add shallots, celery, fennel, and mushrooms, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet; season with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften but don't develop color and mushrooms become glossy, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until liquid just thickens, about 30 seconds. Add clam juice, tarragon sprigs, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes.

  3. Return salmon to skillet, skin-sides up, along with any accumulated juices. Partially cover and continue simmering until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer salmon to a plate; remove and discard herbs.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks and cream. Slowly pour in 1/2 cup cooking liquid, whisking constantly. Stir cream mixture into skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and lemon juice, stirring until butter melts. Return salmon, skin-sides up, and any accumulated juices to skillet; simmer, uncovered, 30 seconds. Top with tarragon leaves and fennel fronds and serve with rice or bread.

Cook's Notes

To make this recipe gluten-free, replace the all-purpose flour with rice flour or Cup4Cup flour.

Related Articles