Baked Herb & Lemon Leatherjacket

Baked Herb & Lemon Leatherjacket

Baked herb & lemon leatherjacket trunks are a great introduction to whole fish. The coarse skin and large head (with its threatening spike) have been removed, and the thick white flakes of flesh lift easily off the bone. It’s also a very forgiving fish, remaining succulent even if you leave it in the oven for a few minutes too long. It tastes great with the same lemon and herb butter I often use on roast chicken and makes for a deliciously easy dinner. You could use fillets of any firm white fish if you prefer, or grill butterflied prawns in their shells with the butter melted over the top (see video below for the method).

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 2 x leatherjacket trunks
  • 50g butter
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped herbs (such as parsley, thyme, rosemary)
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon
Method
  1. Remove fish from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Pat skin dry with paper towel then cut 2 deep slashes in each side of each fish, angled towards the head end.
  3. Place in the baking dish and set aside to come to room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C.
  5. Place butter, herbs, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and finely grate in the lemon zest, reserving the lemon. Mix well.
  6. Pack most of the butter mixture into the slashes of the fish and smear the remainder over both sides.
  7. Slice the lemon. Place a piece in the cavity of each fish and spread the rest around the baking tray, using a couple of pieces to hold the flattened tails and fins in place so they present better when cooked.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, basting occasionally, until just cooked through; test with a fork in the slash near the head end.
  9. Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place to rest for about 5 minutes.
  10. Serve with the cooking juices on the side.

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