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Olive Oil Poached Salmon with Chickpeas

Ed Brown's Poached Salmon & Chickpeas + Watermelon-Tomato Salad
Nathan Congleton/TODAY


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless Skuna Bay salmon filet, cut into four 4-ounce portions
  • Salt
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
  • 2 bay leaves
  • cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons canned chickpeas, rinsed in cold water
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoons fresh chick peas, removed from pod and peeled

Chef notes

Slowly poaching salmon in olive oil at a low temperature ensures that the fish will stay tender and won't overcook.


For the salmon:


Allow salmon to come to room temperature and season generously with salt.


Place the garlic, thyme, lemon zest, coriander and bay leaves in cheesecloth and tie into a sachet.


Add the olive oil and the sachet straight-sided sauté pan. Bring to medium heat (about 150°F), then turn the fire off and let sit for 15 minutes.


Add the salmon fillets to the pan with olive oil. Allow fish to cook slowly for 20-30 minutes off the fire. Carefully remove the fillets from the oil using a fish spatula.

For the chickpeas:


Add the olive oil to a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper and cook gently until softened, about 3 minutes. Raise heat to medium-high and add the garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, stir to combine, let sizzle without browning for about 1 minute.


Add the canned chickpeas, and let them heat through. With fork or wooden spoon, crush about 1/2 of the chickpeas. Stir well, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add 2 tablespoons of water and let the mixture simmer briskly for a minute or two. Stir in the lemon juice, all but one teaspoon of the remaining olive oil and parsley, and mix well.


Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the fresh chickpeas to the boiling water. When the chickpeas are done, quickly remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice bath to stop the cooking process.


Sauté the blanched chickpeas in the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:

On warm plate, place 1/4 of smashed chickpeas and place 1 portion of salmon in middle of plate, garnish with 1 tablespoon of fresh chickpeas. Add a pinch of salt and drizzle generously with olive oil.