Also known as walleye, pickerel is a freshwater fish that populates many fishing lakes across Canada. Most anglers love fishing for pickerel for the simple fact that it’s great to eat—moist, slightly sweet flesh with a nice flaky texture. It’s also relatively easy to clean and has a significant amount of meat for each fillet produced. As a nutritional bonus, pickerel is a good source of protein and also contains a range of vitamins and minerals. And this recipe makes use of the classic cooking technique of creating a pan sauce to put the finishing touches on a superb dish.
You can also try this dish with perch, pike, snapper, or halibut.
Wild rice is one of the slowest-cooking grains. To expedite the process, think ahead and soak the rice in water overnight. This should slash the cooking time by about 30 percent.
Place rice, 4 cups (1 L) water, and a couple of pinches of salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, until tender and some of the grains have burst open, about 45 to 50 minutes. Drain off any remaining liquid and fluff with fork. Toss rice with apple, carrots, celery, walnuts, and cider vinegar.
Meanwhile, make a few diagonal slashes, about 1/8 in (3 mm) deep, through skin of pickerel fillets. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.
In skillet, melt 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter with oil over medium-high heat. Place fish in pan, skin side down, and sauteu0301 until cooked through, turning once, about 8 minutes total.
Remove pickerel from pan and set aside. Add shallots to skillet and heat until golden. Pour cider in pan and boil until reduced by about half, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add broth and continue boiling until reduced by about half. Stir in remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter and mustard; heat for 30 seconds. Stir in parsley and lemon zest.
Divide wild rice salad among serving plates. Top with pickerel and pan sauce.
This recipe is part of the Go (Ice) Fish collection.
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