How to poach fish

Poaching is a really gentle method of cooking fish; it keeps it nice and moist and tasty and you've also got the advantage of being able to use the poaching liquor as a sauce.

So what we've got here, we've got a perfect piece of fish, this is a smoked haddock and this weighs roughly 200g and, along with all these other ingredients, you've got the advantage of this milk ending up with this delicious aroma and taste to it as well.

Right, so what we need to do is get the heat on the pan, get some milk in. You're going to need enough milk just to come up to almost the top of the fish. I've got some parsley here, just take the tops off, you can use that for something else; throw the stalks in, there's a lot of flavour in those. There's some peppercorns, bit of background heat, couple of bay leaves, pinch of mace, not too much it's quite a strong taste. I've got half an onion there, so let that gently infuse for about 30 minutes.

So this milk is now infused, I'm just going to slide it off the direct heat because you don't want it going too fast when you put your fish in. So in with the fish, it's quite important you put it skin side up and that just adds another layer of protection to it. Just slip it in and just leave it alone and let it sit there in that hot milk for about six to eight minutes.

So this fish is now cooked, let's just carefully get it out. It's going to be quite delicate at this point. If you wanted to, you could remove the skin now and then just gently turn. And it's worth noting, incidentally, that this milk will make a really good parsley sauce, don't throw it away, and it's also the basis of a fish pie so it's worth keeping.

So here we are, here's our fish, beautifully cooked, nice and delicate and that is how you poach a fish.

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