Crispy skin trout with lemon brown butter sauce recipe

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  • 4 skin-on trout fillets, 4 to 6 oz [115 to 170 g] each (or another fish of your choosing)
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup [110 g] unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus 1 lemon, sliced (optional) for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1½ Tbsp finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
How to Make It
  1. One hour before cooking, place your trout fillets on a plate, skin-side up, and transfer them to the refrigerator. Do not cover; you want to leave the skin side exposed to dry out.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°F [75°C]. Place a large stainless-steel skillet over high heat until screaming hot, which takes about ½ minutes. Add 1 Tbsp of oil and 1 tsp of salt to the pan. When the oil is smoking, remove the pan from the heat and, using a handful of paper towels and some tongs (if needed), wipe the oil and salt all over the surface of the pan.
  3. Season both sides of each fillet with a pinch of salt (not too much, as the capers are salty) and some pepper and set aside. Place the oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 more Tbsp of oil to the pan, and when it shimmers, carefully lay two fillets, skin-side down, in the pan side by side (don’t stand too close, to avoid getting splattered). Using a fish spatula (or a large spatula), apply firm pressure to the fillets until they lay flat in the pan.
  4. Cook until the flesh is nearly opaque and almost completely cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip the fillets and cook for just 30 seconds more. Transfer the cooked fish to a platter or baking sheet and place in the warm oven.
  5. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil to the pan and repeat the cooking process with the remaining 2 fish fillets. Transfer to the baking sheet or plate in the oven.
  6. Wipe out the pan and allow it to cool down for a few minutes before placing it over medium-low heat. Add the butter. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and begins to brown and smell slightly nutty. Watch it closely now, and as soon as the butter begins to turn a golden amber color, remove the pan from the heat. Allow the browned butter to cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, capers, parsley, and chives. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  7. Remove the fish from the oven and arrange on a serving platter, flesh-side up. Pour the brown butter sauce over the top. Or, alternatively, nestle the fish down into the pan with the sauce, skin-side up, and serve it that way. Garnish with lemon slices and extra chopped herbs, if desired.

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