Poached Salmon and Kale with Bacon Cider Vinegar Broth
Two superfoods, kale and salmon in one dish, this a warming winter dish. It's delicate in flavor and brothy. Take care not to overcook the salmon to retain it's delicate flavor and texture. It should still be almost raw inside.
Makes 4 servings
5-6 slices thick cut bacon
2 leeks, diced
2 medium all purpose potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
4-5 cups shredded kale (or cabbage)
1 1/2 granny smith apples, cored but not peeled, sliced into 8ths
4 cups chicken stock
4 two-inch wide salmon pieces cut from the thick end of the fillet, skin and dark fatty areas removed
3 tablespoons or more of cider vinegar to taste
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Slice the raw bacon into 1/2" wide strips. In a sauté pan large enough to hold the salmon in one layer, cook the bacon over medium low heat for 10 minutes or until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon from the sauté pan with a slotted spoon leaving 2-3 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan.
Sauté the leeks in the bacon fat over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until wilted. Layer the potato slices over the leeks, then the kale and then the apples. Add the chicken stock thyme and lots of black pepper. The ingredients should be barely covered with stock. If not, add water or more chicken stock.
On medium-low heat, simmer covered for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the kale cooked. Add the salmon and vinegar and cover. Turn the heat down to barely a simmer. Cook until the salmon is opaque but still slightly translucent inside, about 3-5 minutes.
Serve in large soup bowls, placing the salmon on top of the kale. Season with salt. Add additional vinegar to taste. Sprinkle the bacon on top.
How to know when salmon is done: It is fashionable to serve salmon raw in the center. I adore sushi, but when having a cooked salmon dish, I prefer it "almost raw". I take the salmon off the heat when it is still raw in the center. While it rests for 5 minutes, it is still cooking but very gently. By the time I eat it, it is barely translucent in the center. Try it this way. With some practice you'll learn to "catch" it when it is just right. This works for thicker pieces of fish that are at least 1" thick.