Cod Bonne Femme – Shallow Poached Wild Cod

Simple Wild Cod Recipe

Chef Andrew Wilkinson

Cooked Cod topped with butter, lemon, and parsley on a white plate

Shallow Poaching Cooking Technique

So you have just purchased your Wild Cod fillet or portions… now what do you do? Cod can be challenging to prepare because it can dry out quickly if overcooked. On the menu tonight: Cod Bonne Femme, which translates into English as “simple style”.

Today we learn how to “Shallow Poach” our fish, the BEST seafood cooking technique that no one has ever heard of. Shallow Poaching is a standard practice in restaurants and simple to execute in your own home kitchen.

Shallow Poaching starts on the stovetop and finishes in the oven – combining moist and dry heat cooking – and done in ONE PAN so the flavors deepen and build on each other. There’s a classic way we will learn, and then you will be able to make all sorts of variations from there.

Advice from a Sage Old Chef

If you learn to cook a RECIPE, then you can cook that recipe. But if you learn the TECHNIQUE, then you can cook ANYTHING. Sounds like the “teach a man to fish” saying… how appropriate.

I know many of us like to relax at home and open up a cookbook and flip through the recipes. Definitely one of my favorite Sunday activities. But without the foundation of strong technique, cookbooks are just picture books.

Even the illustrious Julia Child said… “You learn to cook so that you’re not a slave to the recipe.” With those words in mind, who’s ready to cook?!

Fresh or Frozen Cod?

a fillet of uncooked cod on a blue cutting board

For this fish recipe, I would recommend using Fresh Cod or frozen Naked Cod. In many circumstances, there is nothing WRONG with Previously Frozen fish, just be sure that you are buying from a trusted source.

Let’s cut our fillet into 4 ounce pieces. I recommend two of these 4 ounce portions per person, which is 1 pound of Cod for two people.

True to its name, this recipe calls for basic, but high quality ingredients: Butter, shallots, lemon, white wine, chicken or vegetable broth, Italian parsley, kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Tips for Preparing Cod

  • When you Shallow Poach, you start with a room temperature saute pan with a lid that fits snug.
  • Be sure your Cod is fully thawed and pat dry of any excess moisture.
  • You can do the first few steps (butter your pan, add chopped shallots, add Cod portions) a few hours ahead of time and leave in your refrigerator until you are ready to cook.
  • Like many chefs, I prefer using Kosher Salt for it’s large crystal, which is easier to dramatically sprinkle on my fish.
  • Bring your fish and poaching liquids JUST to a simmer, before transferring to the oven.
  • BE CAUTIOUS when removing your pan from the oven, it will be very hot! Use an oven mitt to protect yourself.
  • Check that your fish is done cooking using the Skewer Trick. Take the flat side of a wooden skewer and push through the thickest part of the fish. If there is resistance, continue cooking for 1-2 more minutes. If it goes through easily with no resistance, it is DONE.
  • Once you remove the Cod from your pan, “tent” the portions with aluminum foil to keep warm until you add them back in.
  • Serve with some Rice Pilaf, or some vegetables for a great pairing
  • The bright, fruity flavor and crisp, acidity of a nice Rosé wine pairs beautifully with this dish. We recommend L’Arlesienne Cotes de Provence.
Got Cod? Try our Naked Wild Cod portions.

Raw Cod portion on ice

You can browse all of our premium seafood offerings and order for next-day home delivery on our online store.

Cooked Cod topped with butter, lemon, and parsley on a white plate

Cod Bonne Femme

Chef Andrew Wilkinson
This delicious one-pan recipe uses the Shallow Poaching method... the best cooking technique no one's ever heard of! This French dish translates to "simple style" and is full of bright, fresh flavors from high quality ingredients.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 2 people


  • 1 lb. Cod Fillet, fresh or previously frozen cut into 4 equal pieces
  • 4 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tbsp. Shallots chopped finely
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground pepper to taste
  • 4 each Lemon slices
  • ½ cup White Wine use what you drink!
  • cup Chicken or Vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup Fresh Italian Parsley chopped



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (Chef’s Note: Steps 2-5 can be done ahead of time and left in your refrigerator until ready to cook.)
  • Wash hands with soap and water. Rinse all fresh produce items under cold running water and pat dry.
  • Use a cold butter stick (about one teaspoon) to coat the bottom of an oven-safe low pan that has a lid.
  • Sprinkle the chopped shallots into the pan.
  • Add Cod pieces atop shallots.
  • Season with salt and pepper and top each portion with a lemon slice.
  • Add wine and chicken broth.


  • Turn stovetop heat on high and bring to a simmer.
  • Once simmering, cover and place entire pan into oven, and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until fish reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees and flakes easily.
  • Carefully remove pan from oven using an oven mitt or towel and test fish for doneness. Fish should flake easily. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Making Pan Sauce

  • Place pan back onto the burner and bring to a boil. Turn down to a high simmer and reduce the liquid until it is a syrupy consistency.
  • Add any juices that have accumulated on the dinner plate holding your fish.
  • Cut butter into slices and add into simmering pan sauce. Once melted, add fresh parsley, and mix into sauce. Do not boil.
  • Remove pan from heat. Dress your fish portions with the sauce.
  • Serve with Rice Pilaf and your choice of vegetables. Enjoy!
Keyword Cod, Shallow Poached
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2 responses to “Cod Bonne Femme – Shallow Poached Wild Cod

    1. Hi Vickie – fantastic! I’d love to hear how the dish turns out. You can tag us on Facebook or Instagram @NorthCoastSeafoods. Cheers!

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