Seared Salmon with Chardonnay Cream Sauce: “Braising the Wild” with Jack Hennessy

In a spring with outstanding salmon fishing on southern Lake Michigan, this “Braising the Wild” recipe from Jack Hennessy is particularly timely.

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Seared Salmon with Chardonnay Cream Sauce” is the “Braising the Wild” recipe from Jack Hennessy.

Jack Hennessy

Considering the extended good run of coho early this year on southern Lake Michigan and some surprisingly big Chinook, “Seared Salmon with Chardonnay Cream Sauce” is particularly timely for Jack Hennessy in “Braising the Wild.”

As usual, “Braising the Wild” is part of the two pages of expanded outdoors coverage as part of the Sports Saturday wrapper in the Sun-Times.

Here is the recipe:

Seared Salmon with Chardonnay Cream Sauce The origin of this recipe is owed to the Pacific Northwest where I spent 6 years fishing, cooking, and writing. The first fish I made with this cream sauce was actually steelhead, but this recipe works fantastically for trout, salmon, or, of course, steelhead. I make it most often with salmon, and it’s become a household favorite. I’ve passed it along to several friends who have also added it to their collection of favorites. The dish is incredibly easy to make. Don’t let the fancy name intimidate you. The hardest part is waiting until the sauce is ready. You want a nice thick sauce, which requires time to reduce the cream. Also, pick a wine you’ll like drinking, because you should enjoy a glass (maybe two) while you wait. Ingredients (serves 2): 2 cups quality Chardonnay wine 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 pint heavy whipping cream 1 cup jasmine rice 2 (6-ounce) fillets 4 tablespoons of capers (drained and added at very end) To prepare: In a medium pot, combine wine, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by at half. Add cream and lemon juice. Simmer for 1 hour or until reduced by half or two-thirds. (Note: To test for proper cream sauce texture, dip spoon into sauce. If sauce coats spoon when withdrawn, sauce is ready.) In small pot with lid, mix jasmine rice with 1 3/8 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Simmer for seven minutes. Turn off heat. (Don’t remove lid.) Let rice finish by steaming Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Fillet or cut salmon into 6-ounce pieces. Lightly salt and pepper flesh. In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of vegetable oil to 350 degrees over medium-high heat. Place fillets in skillet, presentation-side down. Sear until golden brown. Flip fillets. Place skillet in oven. Bake for 5 minutes. (Note: When oils and fats of fish start to bubble white atop flesh, fish has reached a medium to medium-well cook. Continue baking for well-done or remove depending on preference.) Add 4 tablespoons capers (drained) to sauce. Add more lemon juice if you desire extra zing. Mix sauce thoroughly. Place salmon atop a scoop of rice. Ladle sauce over fish and rice.

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