Chervil and White Wine Poached White Fish

Recipe by Chef Jonathan Bardzik

Fish cooks faster than just about any other animal protein making it the perfect, easy meal for a quick weeknight dinner. Fresh and lightly licorice-y chervil – think fennel but more delicate – is the perfect seasoning for a white wine poaching broth.


2 cups dry white wine
2 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tbs whole white or black peppercorns
2 medium leeks, white parts cut in 1” slices
1 lb whitefish filets like cod or halibut cut in two pieces
½ cup chervil microgreens plus more for garnish.
2 tbs cold butter


1) Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper.
2) Make poaching broth: combine wine, vinegar and peppercorns in a 10” sauté pan. Cover and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes to develop flavor.
3) Cook leeks and fish: Add leeks, and cook, covered for 5 minutes longer. Add fish, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let fish poach in water until cooked through, you want to reach about 135° F in the thickest part of the filet. Remove fish and leeks from broth and tent with foil.
4) Make sauce: Add chervil microgreens to poaching broth and return to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain broth to remove microgreens and peppercorns. Return hot broth to pan and whisk in cold butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5) Serve fish and leeks in soup plates/pasta bowls topped with chervil microgreens and surrounded by hot broth.

TIP: Despite cooking the fish in liquid it can still become overcooked and dry. Patiently let it slowly cook in the hot broth and check the temperature. The fish will be flaky around 130°F and firm at 140° F. If it gets warmer the proteins will tighten, squeezing out liquid and leaving you with dry, dense fish.