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This is a very seasonal fish. From September to November large plaice are abundant and relatively cheap. Their flesh is very dense and steak-like. Don’t buy the little immature plaice available at other times of the year, both for reasons of sustainability and flavour.
Ask the fishmonger to split the plaice down the backbone and portion into 4 pieces each roughly
Preheat the oven to about 150°C/gas 2.
Heat a non-stick ovenproof pan large enough to take the
When cooked, transfer to the preheated low oven to finish cooking through – this shouldn’t take more than 5–7 minutes. Remove from the oven but leave it on. Keep the fish covered in a warm place.
Drain and reserve all the fat and juices. Wipe the pan with some paper towel, place it back on the heat and add a splash of olive oil. When hot, add the pieces of fennel and colour these all over. Add the garlic, shredded herbs, capers, Ricard and some seasoning, together with the reserved juices and fat from the fish, and bake in the oven until the fennel is slightly soft but still with a bit of crunch, about 10 minutes.
Serve with the plaice and the juices poured over.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.