Poaching Questions

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Joined Oct 5, 2010
I am looking to make poached halibut.  I have read through some threads on here and found some good tips and info on making a good poaching broth.  I have also referenced a couple of my books. (The Professional Chef and The Flavor Bible) and came up with some what sound to be good flavor combinations.  What I am wondering if if the pan that I have will work for poaching.

http://store.calphalon.com/calphalon-simply-calphalon-nonstick-5-qt-saute-pan/749338

I basically have this pan, however I don't believe that it is a 5qt.  I'll have to get back with the proper size.

Thanks for the help.

Andy
 
5,623
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
While you can poach your halibut in almost any pan that can fit the halibut, that pan wouldn't be my first choise.  A 5 Qt saute pan is fairly large, but not very tall. You will have to use a lot of liquid to cover your halibut, and more liquid means you'll need more aromatics, or you'll get less flavor. 

Ideally you should find some kind of pan that is smaller but taller, like a saucepan, where you'll need less liquid to cover all your ingredients. 
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
Yeah, what FF said!

Basically it will depend on how much fish you have. Your liquid should completly cover the fish, and keep it covered until done. Ideally, you'd have a pan in which the fish would all fit in one layer, and  about two higher than the top of the fish.

Of course, few of us live in that ideal world. But that's the target you should be shooting for.
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
Hmmm I poach my fish in shallow pans like that and I don't submerge the fillet all the way, just half way up.  I still consider it poaching though.  This pan will work great if you have a lot of fillets to do.
 
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487
Joined Sep 5, 2008
I don't submerge the fillet all the way, just half way up.  I still consider it poaching though.  
I usually like to ensure that whatever I poach is not touching the bottom of my pan, but still the piece is usually floating, so some portion of it is out of the water. I wouldn't say half of it, but maybe about 1/4? It's never been a problem either. 
 
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Joined Feb 27, 2008
Hmmm I poach my fish in shallow pans like that and I don't submerge the fillet all the way, just half way up.  I still consider it poaching though.  This pan will work great if you have a lot of fillets to do.
Those were my thoughts exactly. I would also add to that by saying poach halibut at very low temps. Don't toss it into boiling liquid. Barely have bubbles simmering and then put your fish in gently. I like to cook for a minute or two covered, then pull out and cover with a lid or foil to let carryover cooking finish the fish. Halibut goes from flaky and juicy to jerky in about 30 seconds.

Here is a wine poached halibut I did awhile back.

 
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