Kingfish & John Dory; Filleting & preparing

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (4) Likes(4)   Quote The cook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Kingfish & John Dory; Filleting & preparing
    Posted: 14 May 2012 at 10:11pm
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Don’t know if this is any help to anyone but a quick run through of how I deal to a kingi.

Catch, iki, bleed, chill.

I always gut & gill at sea

Set up & organisation is important

Remove head & tail, including wings; this leaves a trunk which I find easier to handle

Now comes the hardest bit, looking from the head end locate the backbone

Looking at a fillet you can see an eye of muscle one side of the backbone & the belly on the other. The trick is to try & cut down the middle of the fillet to the backbone, leaving the pin bones on the belly side.

It is then easy enough to take the top side of the fillet off.

Cut of the belly working through the bones in the gut cavity & coming right up to the anal vent.

Trim & tidy the belly, this is one of the best cuts from the fish.
From there it’s a straightforward job of removing the back piece of fillet from the belly side.
Onto the other side & is the same again

At this point the tray of head, wings & belly are done. Head for boiling, wings & belly, smoked or roasted.

Time to sort the fillets, 1st skin.
I find one of the major advantages of this methods is skinning is much easier as the fillet is narrower & sits flatter. I personally find Kingi much harder to skin than snapper & no matter how a kingi is filleted I will always cut it down the middle to skin.

Once skined cut into smaller pieces to make trimming & handling easier

Its then time to tidy up, trim of blood line & any untidy bits

Cut to size for containers

At this point that’s me done normally; the next photo is how I cut portions for cooking

One kingi processed for consumption

Hope this is of interest to someone, certainly not the only way to do it. Works for me because I like to take that extra bit of time to get a really good product.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote johnny_A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2012 at 10:50pm
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Thanks - great photos and really helpful.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Zambezi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2012 at 7:17am
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Yup I like to look of that process
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote straks007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2012 at 8:15am
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Awesome, thanks for sharingThumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote ponty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2012 at 1:32pm
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amazing how much lighter all the meat is on a kingfish that has been bleed. I have always just had mine knocked on the head and chucked in the chilly
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Grunta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2012 at 1:49pm
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Awesome job of showing how you do it Noel - thanks heap for sharing that.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Hsvl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2012 at 3:08pm
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Thanks for sharing now to go out and have some fun catching his highness 
It hit like a freight train, line peeling and drag screaming the rod now doubled with a tell tail nodding and Salt thickening within the veins.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Ahab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2012 at 3:33pm
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Thanks heaps mate, extremely helpful. Especially useful to me is the fact that you remove the fillets in portions. I've always done it in one big slab like a snapper, which means you end up having to fold a big flap of thick meat access the cutting face. Will change up for the next one. 

Re the belly meat, I shallow fried some recently, and it was actually a little bit too rich. It had a bit of the fatty greasiness you get with farmed salmon. Have you found the same with this cut? Is this why you smoke or roast it?

Also, what do you do with the container of scraps and blood meat? Guess it's destined for the stock pot (with the head and bones)?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Ahab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2012 at 3:34pm
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BTW if you get a John Dory do you reckon you could do a similar post? I rarely get them and have a bit of a fiddle with their unusual design. 

Leatherjackets would be another useful one. 

This thread would be a great one to sticky, and perhaps a link to those vids in the Newbie's forum too.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote chris1070 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2012 at 4:31pm
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Really helpful - thanks.


Now - if I could just catch a Kingi...
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Resacobi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2012 at 11:49am
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Awesome looking facilities there Cook... One thing to try with Kingies, to do with the skinning, is to take the skin off the fillet first, before you remove it form the frame. I run the same cut on the head but then pick up the top edge of the skin off the flesh and then 'peel' it off. It's the same way you'd do an albacore and it's a much easier way than with a knife. Hope it helps. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The cook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2012 at 5:27pm
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Cheers folks
Ahab*the trim usually goes to the cat, but if not stock, chowder, fishcakes.
*Like you I find the belly meat very rich, hence the smoking/roasting. I also try & serve it with a clean fresh acidic sauce like a salsa or sorrel vinagrette to cut some of the richness.
Resacobi*Have to try that, bit like how you do a whole gurnard then?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Catchelot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2012 at 6:04pm
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Originally posted by Ahab Ahab wrote:

BTW if you get a John Dory do you reckon you could do a similar post? I rarely get them and have a bit of a fiddle with their unusual design. 

Leatherjackets would be another useful one. 

This thread would be a great one to sticky, and perhaps a link to those vids in the Newbie's forum too.


X 2 as a sticky... maybe needs a new name...carving versus butchering?

JD's are easy peazy with a thin sharp knife you can take a whole side off boneless and the skin is left on (is great cooked) and there is three distinct cutlets after that. The livers are awesome if you like chicken livers sometimes you get large ones and the roes are great floured and gently fried in butter/oil.

LeatherJackets are very good, also called Creamfish for its taste. Easy to peel the Sandpaper skin off and then they have a weird bone structure so I wonder if they are better baked whole with head chopped off... But I wonder if we are too spoilt for choice and so never bother with these delicacies as they are generally small...


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The cook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2012 at 6:55pm
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Good point about the title Catchelot, didn't realy think.
Will do a dory if I get one, easy eough as you say
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Popeye. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2012 at 7:26pm
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Great thread.
 
Resacobi
Excuse my ignorance  but how do you do an albacore?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote The cook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 7:24pm
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Finally remembered to takes some photos while filleting a John Dory, so as requested here is how I do it. I always iki, slurry, gut & gill at sea

 

Set up

Cutting down at a fairly steep angle working your way around the edge of the fillet

With the knife a bit flatter release the skin near the tail

Work way back up towards the belly

Cut down behind the gill plate

You are now ready to start removing the fillet; because of the row of small spikes on a JD this is harder than with a snapper. A flexible knife is a must.

I use my thumb to gentle lift the fillet while trying to keep the knife blade as flat as possible, it is necessary to bend the blade a bit to achieve this. Using small strokes & guided by the fishes backbone ease the fillet off.

Once you get to the backbone cut up & over it. I now remove the fillet from the back of the fish, with a little practice this will come off in one or two strokes.

Come back up to the top of the fillet & cut through the rib cage.

You may need one more cut to release the fillet

Repeat for the other side & you have one filleted JD

Trim of the bones from the belly cavity

Because I’m a fussy chef I usually trim of the little flap of skin at the tail

You now have a couple of JD fillets ready for consumption. Unlike a lot of fish there are no pin bones in a JD, in addition the scales are so small there is no need to scale then if you are going to eat them skin on.

The skin of JD’s is SO good that I personally believe it is a food crime to skin them. If you are going to skin them it’s no different to a snapper (& I aint going to show you here cause I’d never do that to such a delicious fish)

 

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (4) Likes(4)   Quote The cook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 7:38pm
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Depending on the size of the fish you may need to cut them down to achieve a perfect dinner portion (the fish shown is about 2kg so a fillet is definitely a bit big for a portion).

There are two approaches to this, the 1st is to follow the natural divides of the fillet, these divide the fillet into 3 pieces running lengthwise

The other is to cut across these natural divides to achieve a more compact portion rather than the long portions achieved by the 1st method

(for a smaller fillet I’d just cut it in half, not third)

Two fillets portioned 2 different ways

Which you chose is largely personal preference, the 1st method is in some ways easier as you follow a natural seam, it can also be slightly easier to cook as it is one piece.

The 2nd method can look better on a plate.

 

The next step for a chef is to put a few cuts just through the skin, in chef terms this is known a ciseler.

There are several reasons for this;

1.       Help prevent the fillet curling up when you cook it

2.       Allow heat to penetrate better aiding even cooking

3.       Allow more even seasoning

4.       It looks good when the fish is cooked

Your fillet is now ready for the pan.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (5) Likes(5)   Quote The cook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 7:44pm
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At this point I thought I’d show you how to cook crispy skin John Dory, one of the greatest things to come out of the ocean (right up there with seared scallops & sautéed scampi)

 

1st get organised

·         Flaky sea salt (normal salt will work but this stuff is much better, if yah rich Maldon sea salt is the bomb).

·         Clarified butter (oil works but doesn’t taste as good, whole butter also works but requires more skill to use).

·         Heavy based frying pan (preferably a good black iron pan that is oven proof).

·         A good flexible fish stainless steel slice (don’t skimp on this, plastic is **** & some of the cheap ones a very thick & heavy with no flex).

As with any fish cookery the fillet needs to be dry or it will stick, stew & not get a beautiful caramelised surface.

Heat the pan on a medium/low heat, don’t allow it to get to hot.

It’s a bit hard to see but the 1st photo shows the pan on high heat

The second medium/low as desired.

The single biggest fault most people make with crispy skin fish is to think they need a high heat. To get the skin crisp you must 1st remove all the moisture, a high heat will caramelise & eventually burn the natural sugars in the fish before the skin goes crisp. A medium/low heat will allow the moisture to be slowly driven from the skin & then caramelise the sugars.

Season the skin side of the fish generously

Add a good dollop of clarified butter to your moderately hot pan

Allow to heat up, it should spread evenly across the pan & shine or just shimmer, definitely not smoke! (A bit hard to see in the photo)

Next place the fish in the pan skin side down, it is necessary to hold the fillet flat with a fish slice so that it does not curl up. Don’t squash the **** out of it, just enough pressure to keep it flat.

Once the fish stays flat without the fish slice (a minute or so), season the exposed side.

Now comes the hard bit, allow the fish to cook on the skin slowly & gently until the skin is crisp. I often tip the pan back & forth to ensure the fat is evenly distributed.

The fish will need at least 3 minutes on the skin & often longer. After a couple of minutes it is possible to check it by carefully releasing it from the pan (notice I have a very flexible fish slice inverted & bent so it is loaded it such a way that the edge scrapes along the pan), don’t tear the skin or it won’t look pretty. Don’t do this too soon or the skin will not have cooked enough & will tear.

If it’s beautiful & crisp sweet.

If not flip it back on its skin & keep cooking. If its colouring but not crisping turn it down, if it’s cooking but is soggy, turn heat up & remove some oil (these temp adjustments are subtle).

You now have a choice; if it’s a thin fillet a couple more minutes in the pan will do the trick. A thicker fillet like the one shown is VASTLY better cooked in the oven.

The oven shown is a commercial fan forced oven hence the 150°c, a conventional oven look at 165-175°c. This took 3 minutes to cook through.

Always warm your plate, meal stays warm & much nicer to eat.

A there you have it a perfectly cooked bit of crisp skin John Dory

As with any white fish just cooked through is ideal, I’ve actually gone a fraction under here so it shows in the photo (& because I prefer to eat it this way)

 

A bit of a marathon, kind of got out of control. Hope this is useful to someone out there, if you can be arsed give it a go. Very hard to beat Johnny cooked like this.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Ahab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 8:32pm
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Thanks a lot mate, that is extremely useful. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Whippa-Schnapper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2012 at 9:16pm
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I know exactly what I'm going to try with my next JD ! Beer
Thanks for going to the trouble of putting all this up, I've learnt heaps!
keen fisho
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