La jalousie du saumon – Saumon à l’orange sur fenouil braisé

The salmon got a little jealous and was raving to be coated with a citrusy orange sauce too, because he thought that not only canard can be made “à l’orange”, he was the perfect candidate for the title too…and he was. On peut faire plein de choses avec des oranges!

The fennel at my local grocery store has been so round, and perfect looking that I could not resist and bought a lot of those beautiful bulbs. After the shrimp salad, now the salmon dish. You might think that fennel-orange and fish-fennel are two déjà vu combinations, it might be, but the secret here is the broth that makes this salmon a wonderful fragrant dish. Then when you love something, you can never get enough of it.

What I like about this dish is is the lightness of its fragrance, the salmon already has a strong flavor so I don’t like to add too many spices and powerful ingredients to a naturally strong ingredient, then I think it is confusing to your palate when you eat it, well mine gets very sensitive and does get confused easily if too many strong ingredients are combined. C’est la confusion totale! I served this with barley pilaf, whose little crunchy texture accompanied the whole dish very well.

I used some herbs to enhance the broth and that’s basically where the fragrance comes from. I was so happy I finally planted a bunch of herbs in the garden, so let’s hope the three semi-abandoned cats hanging outside the house won’t come and dig them, I am not too familiar with cats’ behavior but seems like they like to play with plants…and catch birds…and seriously have been scaring me a little due to their giant size and the way they are staring at me and my bird through the windows, I haven’t felt any love coming this way.

Ingredients for 2

For the fish and fennel

  • 2 salmon fillets, skinless
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thickly
  • Juice of 1 orange + zests
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • flour for coating the fish
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the broth

  • 1 leek, cut in chunks
  • 1 carrot, cut in chunks
  • 2 celeri sticks
  • 1 onion, cut in quarters
  • 1 tomato cut in quarters
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6-7 basil leaves
  • 1 tsp fish fumet
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 cups water


Start preparing the broth, by adding all ingredients together with 2 or more cups of water. Let it simmer for one hour, adding more water if necessary. At the end of cooking time, when broth has reduced, you need about 1.5 cups broth. Drain and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a pan, and add fennel. Let it cook at high heat until both sides are golden brown (about 5-7 minutes), add salt and pepper. Add crush garlic, stir for about 30 seconds, then add 2 ladles of broth. Reduce heat and let it cook all the way through (about 15-20 minutes).

Heat olive oil in a pan. Coat fish with flour and saute in oil. Let it brown on both sides, then add orange juice, 2 ladles of broth and wine. Let it reduce.