A whole fish does not have to be intimidating. In fact, I think it’s actually easier to cook an entire one versus a filet because, with some easy prep work, you can just let the fish do all of the work for you –– there’s also a bonus: Homemade Fish Stock can be made with the left overs AND less clean-up when cooked with this recipe — hooray. The idea of buying a whole fish at the Farmers Markets reminds me of walking straight down to the docks and picking out a fish from right off the boat. Lucky for us, many markets now carry a variety of fresh whole fish –– scaled, cleaned, and ready to go. Whole Roasted Snapper with Lemon Parsley Garlic Butter Sauce is a simple fish with a lot of “sealed in flavor” (AKA the parchment paper method) then smothered with a zing-y, herbaceous, garlic-y, white wine sauce –– bellissimo.
Before you head-out to buy your fish, I recommend two things:
1. Bring a cooler and/or an ice pack to keep it cold for your ride home.
2. Get to the market early, they usually sell out.
Thankful for this beautiful fish.
Open it up.
Add fresh parsley, lemon and butter.
Place more parsley, lemon and butter over the top.
Wrap up the fish securely, “Fish en Papillote” but around here we just say parchment paper, then place into the oven.
Once the fish is fully cooked, the bones are fairly easy to remove. I use the backs of two spoons to gently remove the top bones, side fins and stomach area bones. Then gently lift out your filet, leaving the center vertebrae in tact. Use a spoon to move that large bone and grab the next filet.
Do a final check for bones, pour sauce over the top, add lemon slices and serve.