We are always sad when asked to fillet one of our big plump JOHN DORY… So much delicious flesh gets left on the bone afterward (even in the hands of our most talented filleters… )… So much flavour is lost after removing the bone… Like Black sole, Dory is one of the better fish to cook & enjoy on the bone. The super firm fillets will simply separate from the bone rib in one piece, while retaining all the delicious flavours during cooking.
Be brave…. Try whole cooked John Dory & you will not regret this….
Toast the coriander seeds on their own in a dry pan until fragrant, add half the butter and stir fry the fresh fennel, Garlic, and shallots for 3- 4 minutes
In an oven dish, scatter on the bottom the Fennel and onion mix. Stir in the parsley, reserving a little to sprinkle on tip at the end
Lay the fish on top after scoring it with a knife and seasoning on either sides. (fill the belly cavity with a few lemon slices, and roughly crushed garlic)
Add the cherry tomatoes around drench with generous amount of white wine - top with a few slices of lemon and scatter the remaining butter over the fish.
Baste the fish with the cooking liquor a couple of time during cooking.
Cooking time will vary according to the size of the fish. roughly 15 minutes for a 400 g fish, 25 for a 800 g dory, 35+ for a bigger lad.... Always check if your fish is cooked by probing the thickest part with the tip of a knife or a metal skewer. it should go in without any resistance, and be hot to the tongue after a minute. If the metal feels hot, so is the fish.
Serve directly whole in the dish at the table or break up the fish on individual plates in the kitchen. This is your call.
This dish will be delicious to serve up with the simplest plain rice.