Poached Halibut with Tarragon Cream Sauce


This Poached Halibut with Tarragon Cream Sauce recipe is one of our favorites. We’ve made it many times and tried to perfect it (according to our tastes, of course). Feel free to experiment with some things, like cod instead of halibut, but follow this recipe once and you’ll have a good starting point.

Thanks to Gordon Ramsay for this recipe…this recipe was adapted from his and ours isn’t extremely different. (By the way, not expecting a “you’re welcome” from Gordon, but that would be cool…js). Find the original recipe in Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking with Friends cookbook!


If you give this recipe for Poached Halibut with Tarragon Cream Sauce a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

If you like this recipe, check out some of our other popular Seafood recipes below:

Poached Halibut with Tarragon Cream Sauce

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Angela and Mark Course: DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time






  • For the Sauce
  • 3 tbsp 3 Olive Oil

  • 1 Large Shallot, minced

  • ½ tsp lemon zest

  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • ½ cup Dry White Wine

  • 1 cup 1 Fish Stock

  • 1 cup 1 Heavy Cream

  • 1 Lemon, Juice only (or more to taste)

  • ½ cup Tarragon Leaves (extra for garnish – optional)

  • For the Poached Fish
  • 10-14oz of Halibut (or Cod) fillet – in two pieces

  • 1 tbsp 1 Whole Peppercorns (Black or White)

  • 1 tsp 1 Whole Allspice

  • 1 Lime, Sliced

  • 3 Bay Leaves

  • 2 tsp 2 Kosher Salt

  • 3 Bay leaves


  • Over medium or medium low heat, sweat the shallots in a skillet or saucepan in the olive oil. If you want, you can get a little color (really sweaty) on the shallot, but do not brown them significantly.
  • Add the zest, salt, pepper and turn the heat up to medium for 20 seconds.
  • Add wine and reduce the liquid until you have about a tablespoon left (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Add the stock and reduce by half (about 15-20 minutes).
  • Add the cream and reduce until you have a thick, creamy sauce (about 15-20 minutes). Add ¾ of the lemon juice and keep warm; taste for salt and pepper.
  • Chop the tarragon (1/2 cup pre-chopped) and add 1-2 minutes before the fish is done.
  • Put all of the ingredients except for the fish into a large saucepan or dutch oven.
  • Fill with enough water to cover fish and bring to a boil. Do not put the fish in the poaching liquid yet. Just eyeball the amount of liquid to cover the fish.
  • Boil for at least 5 minutes and reduce heat to a low simmer.
  • Lightly salt and pepper the fish on both sides.
  • When sauce is ready (or about ready) put the fish in the gently simmering water and poach until opaque and beginning to flake. Depending on the thickness of the fillet, it should take around 8 to 11 minutes (no more than an inch thick).
  • Remove fish, pat dry with paper towels and plate. Spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @cooking_with_wine on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithwineblog

Join the Conversation

  1. Just made this tonight and it was excellent! One of the best fish dishes I’ve ever made!!

    1. Angela and Mark Author says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CookingWithWine©Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.