Coley Poached in Olive Oil with Garlic

Coley Poached in Olive Oil with Garlic

This is a wonderful recipe that I first saw and tasted when my good friend and fellow chef Mark Hix prepared it for us at home. He made it with a piece of pollock that our kindly next door neighbour Terry gave us after a successful fishing trip. It is so simple and just brilliant, it really gives the fish a wonderful flavour but most of all the texture, it really firms up and the flakes of fish become luxurious. This method works with any big flaked fish and here I have used Mark’s method with coley which is such a good fish and so often overlooked as its past reputation has been so poor, I think coley treated in this way is magnificent.

Serves 2


2 x 200 g /8 oz chunks of coley fillet
6 tbsp rock salt
500 ml /16 fl oz olive oil (not best extra virgin)
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp parsley, very finely chopped
Squeeze of lemon


Cover the fish in salt and leave for 30 minutes then wash thoroughly and pat dry. 

Put the olive oil in a pan that will allow the oil to be sufficient depth to cover the fish and warm gently, add the garlic and thyme and wait until the garlic starts to brown, when it reached this stage remove it from the oil and then add the fish and poach gently for 6-7 minutes until it is firmed up and cooked. 

Remove the fish then drain and sprinkle with parsley and a squeeze of lemon. I love this dish with new potatoes and mint or courgettes fried in butter with plenty of black pepper.