Go Back

Poached Salmon with Bourbon Cream Sauce

Sue Lau
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American, Southern


  • Instant read Thermometer


Poached Salmon:

  • 1-1/2 pound salmon fillet
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • fresh chives (garnish)
  • lemon slices (garnish)

Bourbon Cream Sauce:

  • 3 ounces diced bacon (2 thick slices)
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken base
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


Prep the sauce:

  • Saute the bacon and shallots in the butter until the bacon renders and browns.
  • Stir in the flour to coat.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the bourbon.
  • Also stir in the chicken base, seasonings, milk, and cream.
  • Return to the heat and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Keep warm.

Prep the fish:

  • Leave the skin on the fish.
  • Heat the milk with salt whisked in using a deep skillet or wok pan, until milk steams.
  • Add the fish skin side down and simmer gently over low heat until fish temperature is where you like it (use instant read thermometer to check) or maybe even a few degrees below (temp will rise a little more as it rests). See temperatures below. I cook mine to just under medium. (about 120)
  • Ladle hot milk over fish as it cooks if it is not submerged.
  • Gently lift out fish using one or more spatulas to support it and place on serving platter. Dab up liquid with a paper towel.
  • Serve fish with warmed sauce, and garnish with lemon and chive.


Salmon cooking temperatures: Rare: 110F.; Medium: 125F.; Med-Well: 145F.
Keyword Bacon, bourbon, poached fish