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Cooking haddock by baking it in a foil wrap is a good way to go, because haddock is a lean fish that can dry out easily. Foil will not only hold in the moisture, but also allows you to cook without the extra fat that other cooking methods involve. It seals in flavour and aroma, with the added bonus of having no pans to clean.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) and cut a large piece of foil. Turn the foil so the dullest side is facing up and place the fillet so it is in the middle, making sure there is at least an extra few centimetres (one or two inches) extending beyond the fillet on the ends.
Season the haddock with salt and pepper. Add oil or another cooking liquid (see Tips for ideas) and set aside. Bring up both sides of foil until the edges meet and then fold them together, making sure not to crush the fish inside. Crease and fold again to create a secure upper seal. Then fold each end over securely, so no loose ingredients can spill or leak out. Set the completed parcel on a baking tray.
Place the fish parcel - still on the baking tray - into a preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the fish is flaky when tested with a fork. Thicker fillets may take longer - up to 50 minutes. When cooked, remove the baking tray from oven, open the foil parcel and peel away the skin before serving.
- If baking a whole fish in foil, ensure that the fish is properly cleaned, scaled and gutted before wrapping.
- Haddock is not a fatty fish and requires a sauce or cooking liquid to remain moist. Water, milk, wine, lemon and orange juice are all healthy choices, but you can also use oil.
- For an extra tasty fillet, try mixing together two tablespoons of white wine, one tablespoon of melted butter, a handful of breadcrumbs and some chopped garlic in a small bowl. Sprinkle this on the fish before cooking.
- Use non-stick foil, which will ensure your fish slides easily off the packet and onto your plate without leaving any behind.
- Overcooking fish can make it dry or rubbery, so pay attention to recipe cooking times and check the fish often as it cooks.
- Old fish cannot only taste bad, but can make people ill. Make sure to buy the freshest fish available.
- Alexandra Grablewski/Lifesize/Getty Images