Salmon With Orange Butter Sauce

The sauce for this simply sautéed salmon is reminiscent of some of the serious sauces found in French cuisine but don’t be fooled the dish can be on the table in no time flat.

Salmon With Orange Butter Sauce

Yield: 4 servings


  1. 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  2. One 1/2-inch strip of orange zest
  3. 1/4 cup julienned shallots
  4. 1/2 bay leaf
  5. 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  6. 1 clove garlic, smashed
  7. 1 sprig fresh thyme
  8. 1/3 cup dry white wine
  9. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  10. 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  11. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  12. Four 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin on
  13. 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil


Combine the orange juice, strip of orange zest, shallots, bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic, thyme, and wine in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced by three-fourths, about 8 minutes. Add the heavy cream and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 4 minutes longer. 

Whisk in the cold butter little by little, whisking until the sauce is smooth and thick and all the butter is incorporated, 3 to 4 minutes; do not allow the sauce to boil. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into another saucepan, pressing on the solids to extract all the liquid; discard the solids. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, and keep warm until ready to serve. (Do not allow the sauce to boil or it will separate.)

Season the salmon on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon, skin side down, and cook until lightly browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the salmon over and cook until the fish is just cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Serve the salmon, skin side up, immediately, with the orange butter sauce spooned around the fillets.


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