Broiling haddock can be a quick and easy way to prepare this popular white fish, a mild-flavored species that is similar in taste and consistency to cod or pollock. Many fish markets sell fresh haddock as well as frozen, and while the choice is a matter of personal taste, buying the freshest fish available is usually a smart choice. Another important tip for broiling haddock is to choose thinner fillets, usually less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick, because thicker pieces may become overcooked on the outside before the inside is done. Haddock is a relatively lean fish, so it should be lightly brushed with oil or drizzled with melted butter before broiling to keep it moist, and the chef must be careful not to overcook it. Haddock can be prepared with many different ingredients according to the cook’s taste because it is so versatile.
Fish markets usually sell fresh or frozen haddock. Either one is acceptable for broiling, so the choice is largely a matter of personal taste and budget. Some cooks say that frozen haddock has a firmer texture and fishier taste. If cost is an issue, however, fresh fish is generally more expensive. When purchasing any kind of fish, it’s a good idea to talk with the fish monger and ask for suggestions on the best way to choose and prepare seafood. A cook can also ask for the best fillets that can be used for broiling haddock.
The cooking technique for broiling haddock is similar to grilling. The heat is relatively high, usually around 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius), and the fish is cooked for a shorter period of time than when it is baked. As fish flakes easily when cooked, the broiling pan or sheet should be thoroughly coated with cooking spray or oil to prevent the haddock from sticking, which can cause the fillets to fall apart. Haddock is not a naturally fatty fish, so it should be brushed with oil or butter to keep it moist during cooking. It could also be marinated for a short time (less than an hour) before broiling.
There are numerous recipes for broiling haddock, and a cook can choose one based on the ingredients he or she has on hand or can easily obtain. One of the simplest preparations is to drizzle the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and then serve with fresh lemon juice. A variety of sauces like pesto, browned butter, or red wine reduction could also be served with broiled haddock.