Braised Chicken Turbot with Sorrel

Turbotin braisé à l’oseille

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • For

    two

    people

Appears in

Cuisine of the Sun

By Roger Vergé

Published 1979

  • About

Moderately expensive

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken turbot of 1 kg ( lb)
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 shallots
  • 5 tablespoons double cream
  • 2 bunches sorrel80 g (3 oz) in all
  • 30 g ( oz) butter at room temperature
  • salt, pepper

Method

Preparation

Clean the turbot and remove the gills. Cut away the fins from each side. Prepare the fish by soaking it in very cold, even iced, water for 5–6 hours. Dry it on a towel or kitchen paper.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Mark 6. Peel and chop the shallots finely. Remove the tough central ribs of the sorrel by pulling the tender green parts away from each side. Wash and drain the sorrel, then roll each leaf up like a cigar and cut each roll into very fine slices, in order to obtain thin ribbons, or a ‘chiffonade’.

Cooking

Season the turbot on both sides with salt and pepper. Cover the bottom of a baking-dish with 10 g ( oz) of butter and sprinkle it with the chopped shallot. Place the turbot on top with the dark skin uppermost. Pour the white wine over the fish and cook in the hot oven for 20–25 minutes. To tell when it is cooked, press your index finger down firmly on the backbone, just below the head. If you can feel the bone, the fish is cooked.

Put the cooked fish on one side to keep hot and pour the cooking juices and shallots into a saucepan with sloping sides. Reduce over a brisk heat until no more than 2–3 tablespoons of syrupy liquid remains. Pour in the cream, return to the heat and bring briefly to the boil. Throw in the ‘chiffonade’ of sorrel and stir it in carefully with a wooden spatula. Bring back to the boil, taste and season with salt and pepper. Away from the heat, add the remaining butter little by little, beating continuously with the wooden spatula. When all the butter has been incorporated, set the sauce on one side to keep warm.

Remove the black skin from the turbot – it should peel off very easily. Then remove all the little bones from the flat fin running round the edge of the fish. This is simply done by running a sharp knife round the fish between the flesh and the fin and pushing the bones outwards. You will then have a turbot divested of its dark skin and fringe of bones, but retaining its head. Place it on a hot, lightly buttered serving-dish and put to keep hot in the oven, turned off and with the door open.

To serve the turbot, simply cover it lightly with the sorrel sauce (4), leaving only the head without sauce, and serve the rest of the sauce separately.

Recommended wine

  • a young dry white wine, which can also be used in the recipe