The firm, white flesh of halibut is well suited to a quick braise on the stovetop. Artichokes and bacon infuse the broth with savory flavor, while fresh mint brightens the dish. The quantity of bacon can be reduced by half, if you like. Serve the fish fillets and broth over boiled potatoes or pasta.
- 1 lemon
- 2 globe artichokes
- 2 slices of bacon, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock
- 2, five-ounce halibut fillets, skin removed (ask the fishmonger to do this for you)
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- freshly ground pepper
- Prepare the artichokes. Fill a large glass or ceramic bowl with water. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the water, and drop the lemon halves in the water. use this bowl of acidulated water to keep the artichoke leaves during prepping, which will prevent them turning brown. use a serrated knife to cut off the top quarter of the artichoke. Rub the top of the artichoke with the cut side of a lemon to prevent browning. Peel off the leaves from the bottom of the artichoke and cut off the stem off at the base. using your fingers (carefully) or a paring knife, take off all the outer leaves of the artichoke. These leaves are tough and will not tenderize with cooking. use a spoon to scoop out the hairy inner choke. Separate the tender, inner leaves and drop them into the acidulated water. Set the bowl of water and artichoke leaves aside until ready to cook.
- Heat a heavy, non-reactive pot (such as an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven) to medium heat. Add the diced bacon and cook for about 4 minutes until browned and the fat rendered. Pour all but a teaspoon of the fat out of the pot. Toss in sliced shallot and sauté 1 minute more.
- Drain the artichoke leaves and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss the artichoke leaves into the pot with the bacon and shallot. Stir to combine and then pour in the chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cover the pot, cooking for about 10 minutes, until the artichoke leaves are just tender.
- Season the broth with 1/4 teaspoon salt and place the halibut fillets in the pot. Slice the 1/2 tablespoon butter in half and put a piece of butter
atop each halibut fillet. Cover the pot with the lid, and let it simmer five minutes more, until the halibut is just cooked through and flakes easily with a
fork. Just before serving, garnish with chopped mint and freshly ground pepper. Serve with boiled potatoes or pasta.Serves 2