Bourbon Salmon

Bourbon Salmon

Bourbon Salmon

Sometimes telling someone about a recipe is not nearly as compelling as preparing it with them, especially if that person is not used to cooking with certain ingredients. Take my Bourbon Salmon for instance. One day, I was chatting it up with a friend who had never bought much less prepared salmon at home. She had never cooked with bourbon and wasn’t particularly comfortable using the broiler either. Bottom line? As delicious as the recipe sounded, she didn’t think she could pull it off at home. So I set out to prove otherwise. The following weekend, I drove her to the grocery store, showed her how to pick out the best salmon available and brought her back to her kitchen to tackle the recipe. I guided her through skinning the fish (a necessity for this recipe), warned her about the pitfalls of adding all the marinade at the beginning of the cooking process (the sugars will burn before the fish is cooked) and persuaded her to keep the salmon under the broiler a few seconds beyond her comfort level (to caramelize the sugars on top). The sweet, smoky aroma had her girls waiting stove-side with forks in hand. When the fish was done, everyone dug into what turned out to be perfectly broiled Bourbon Salmon. Cooking with my bud in her kitchen was the key to making her realize she was “all that and a bag of chips.” And it was a fun way for me to spend the afternoon with a dear friend!

Bourbon Salmon Recipe

Print Recipe

Print Recipe

1 2-pound salmon fillet
1 6-ounce can pineapple juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Place the fish on a flat surface.  Using a sharp knife, cut a small flap of skin from the tip of the fillet.  Grab the flap tightly with your hand (sometimes it helps to use a paper towel) and slide your knife between the skin and fillet tilting the knife ever-so-slightly toward your flat surface (this will help keep you from butchering the flesh closest to the skin).  Continue sliding the knife down the length of the fillet until you reach the other end.  Discard skin.

Place salmon in a large resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, combine pineapple juice and cornstarch; whisk until cornstarch dissolves. Add bourbon and next four ingredients; stir to combine. Pour 1/3 of marinade over salmon; seal bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, turning occasionally. If you don’t have that much time, brush 1/3 of the marinade on the fish and cook immediately.

Preheat broiler. Remove salmon from marinade (discard) and place on a lightly greased, rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Place salmon under broiler; cook 4 minutes. Remove from broiler; baste with 1/2 of reserved marinade. Return to broiler and cook until salmon flakes easily with a fork and the top is crisp and dark brown from the caramelized sugars, about 3-4 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish). Remove from broiler and brush with remaining marinade. Serve immediately. Serves 4.


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Category: Fish, Main Dishes, Seafood  Tags: ,
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