Halibut Poached in Duck Fat with Corn Salad

Halibut Poached in Duck Fat with Corn Salad

My riff on a recipe from Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites cookbook:

Halibut Recipe:

  • 2 halibut fillets (about 12 ounces each; ask your fishmonger to remove the white belly skin but to leave the dark dorsal skin attached)
  • 1 quart rendered duck fat (available at various
    gourmet retailers and some butcher shops)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • Seeds from 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salad Recipe:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen sweet corn
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinagrette


  1. Using the microplane grater, finely grate the lemon zest into a small mixing bowl and add the oil, fennel and cardamom seeds, bay leaf and garlic, mixing well.
  2. Rub the fish on all sides with the mixture and refrigerate in a casserole or zip-seal plastic bag for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
  3. Remove the fish from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before you’re ready to poach it. Brush off the excess garlic and seeds. Season it on all sides with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large, heavy-bottom pot, heat the duck fat over medium heat until it reaches 150 degrees F, monitoring the temperature with the instant-read thermometer.
  5. Slip the fish into the pot and ladle the fat over so it is submerged.
  6. Let cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, until the fish has an internal temperature of 150 degrees F.
  7. Carefully remove the fish from the pot with a slotted spoon or fish spatula, adjust seasoning if necessary.
  8. In a large bowl, combine vegetables; stir in dressing. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  9. Plate Halibut with Salad and Serve