Slow-baked Arctic char with crisp potatoes


Herbs, like spices, vary in potency. You’ve got to know when to go easy or go crazy. When it comes to parsley, the more the merrier. An entrée such as this one calls for a companion beverage with lively acidity. After all, herbs give lift to a dish; a crisp beverage carries it to victory.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Ready time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Servings: 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 oz (55 g) bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 4 cups red potatoes, unpeeled and diced
  • 4 oz (115 g) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped and divided 1/4 cup shallots, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • tsp fresh lemon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, grated
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 skin-on Arctic-char fillets (8 oz/225 g each)


To make the potatoes, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté for 1 minute. Add potatoes and sauté for about 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally until a few potatoes start to brown. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Uncover skillet, add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and stir together the contents of the skillet. Cover again and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the potatoes are golden. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of parsley. Reserve.

While the potatoes are cooking, make the herb butter by combining shallots, 3 tablespoons parsley, chives, capers, lemon thyme and lemon zest in a bowl. Add butter and mix the herbs into it.

Preheat oven to 250 F.

Place char fillets skin-side down in an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush each fillet with about 1 teaspoon herb butter.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until white juices are just beginning to appear. Place fish on serving plates and dot with remaining herb butter. (Leftover herb butter will keep refrigerated for a week or frozen indefinitely.)

Reheat potato mixture and serve with the fish.

Suggested Wine Pairings

Pinot gris: This is the alter ego of pinot grigio. After the popularity explosion of easy-sipping Italian pinot grigio, a naming convention arose. Crisp, simple quaffs tend to get slapped with the grigio moniker, while more substantial, “serious” wines are called pinot gris (though there are exceptions). The “serious” version is a specialty of Alsace as well as Oregon and British Columbia. The medium weight and subtle fruitiness find their mark with this delicate fish and earthy potato-based side.


Excerpted from The Flavour Principle © 2013 by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol.

Author: TMW

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