Also known as: scrod (young haddock)
Haddock can be distinguished from the other closely related members of the cod family by a black lateral line and a large spot on each side of the body over the pectoral fins. The largest recorded haddock weighed 37 pounds and measured 44 inches in length. Few haddock exceed 20 to 24 inches in length, 3 to 5 pounds in weight and 9 to 10 years old.
It is one of the most popular varieties of smoked fish and it has a unique succulent and delicious flavour. The fillets are placed in a brine solution for a few minutes and then hung on stainless steel racks to drain. The full racks are then placed in a brick built chimney and smoked for 10 to 12 hours over smouldering oak and beech chippings.
Named after the Aberdeen fishing village of Findon (pronounced locally as "Finnan") who began producing lightly smoked and delicately flavoured haddock (haddies) which were of a much finer texture than the original recipe in the early 19th century. They are partially boned, lightly salted and smoked. In the British Isles, finnan haddie has long been a favorite breakfast dish. It's available whole or in fillets and can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for up to a month. Finnan haddie is best baked, broiled or poached. It's generally served with a cream sauce.
Fresh Haddock is primarily an excellent source of protein. It also contains plenty of vitamin B12, pyridoxine and selenium and has a good balance of sodium and potassium.
Generally resembles the cod but has a black line along each side and the black patch midway between along the back. Freshly caught, haddock are a dark purplish-grey. The belly is white.
Refrigerate as soon as possible after purchase, either in the original wrapping or in a sealed airtight plastic container, and use within 24 hours. Fish can be frozen for up to 3 months, thaw thoroughly in the fridge before use and never refreeze fish that has been previously frozen.
Lean and white, the meat is less firm than cod and flakes beautifully when cooked. Haddock is versatile and can be cooked in the same way as cod, grilled or baked, and it is very good deep-fried for fish and chips. A combination of haddock and smoked haddock is good for including in recipes such as fish pie, fish cakes, soups and bakes.
Smoked haddock can be grilled or poached and can be included in pâtés, mousses, kedgeree and omelettes.
To bake haddock fillets, wrap the fillets in foil or greaseproof paper with fresh herbs and plenty of seasoning or in a covered ovenproof dish with wine or stock, herbs and seasoning. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 180°C, or until the flesh has turned opaque and is just starting to flake.
To deep fry haddock, coat the unskinned fillets in seasoned flour, batter and egg or breadcrumbs, cook in oil heated to 190°C until golden brown (about 4 to 5 minutes) and drain well on kitchen paper.
To shallow fry, heat a little oil or oil and butter in a frying pan, add the fillets and cook for 4 to 5 minutes turning once, until lightly browned and the flesh has turned opaque and is just starting to flake.
To poach fillets, place in a pan and just cover with water, wine or milk and flavourings, cover and slowly bring to the boil, simmer for 2 to 4 minutes and then remove using a slotted spoon. The cooking liquid can be used to make a sauce to accompany the cooked fish.
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