Trout... oh, the bones!
Depending on the size of the trout, removing bones–even after cooking–can be a bit of a challenge.
It is pretty easy to get the larger rib bones and spine out, however, the small pin bones (near the lateral line) tend to stay behind keeping us from enjoying every bite. When we discovered how easy it is to bone-out a trout before cooking, we have been preparing them for stuffing this way ever since.
Debone a Trout
- To remove the bones from an already gutted trout prior to cooking it, place it on it’s back.
- From the inside of the fish, cut the ribs where they attach on to the spine.
- Sever the ribs on both sides of the backbone, continuing through the pin bones but taking special care not to cut through the skin.
- Cut through the spine at the base of the head and at the base of tail, then pull the spine out.
- Next, carefully fillet the rib bones away from the meat, leaving all the meat you can on the fish.
- Trim excessive fat and fins off the belly of the trout.
- To remove the pin bones, find them by running your fingers from head to tail. This will get the bones standing up which makes them easy to remove with a small set of pliers.
You now have a boned-out trout.
The fish can now be stuffed with any variety of ingredients or frozen for later use. If using a creamy or breaded stuffing, secure the belly opening with a toothpick or bamboo skewer to contain it.
This recipe was developed when my herb garden was in full-swing. Grabbing a few handfuls of fresh parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme and lemon balm, I lightly salted and peppered the inside cavity of the fish and stuffed as much as I could into the fish.
Anything goes here but if you just have fresh parsley and cilantro from the supermarket, stuff that in. A squeeze of citrus–lemon, lime or orange–is nice on the inside and outside of the fish as well.
A quick dip of the stuffed fish in beaten egg and a roll in a 1/2-seasoned breadcrumbs, 1/2-flour mixture and they are ready to fry up in olive oil (or if you are feeling decadent, bacon grease).
Fry fish until browned nicely on both sides, about 4-6 minutes per side, depending on fish thickness.
Drizzle trout with Chimichurri Sauce before serving.
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh herbs of choice (cilantro, basil, oregano and/or thyme)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Puree all ingredients in a food processor or mini-chopper.
Written by Tiffany Haugen - www.tiffanyhaugen.com.