Poached Cod With Potatoes and Leeks

by Cindi SutterFounder of The Spirited Table® - Recipe by ANDY BARAGHANI BON APPÉTIT OCTOBER 2016

Photo by Alex Lau

Photo by Alex Lau

Gently poaching fillets of delicate white fish in milk is the secret to an elegant yet effortless dinner.


1 1/2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 medium leeks, white and pale-greens parts only, halved lengthwise, with some root attached
4 sprigs thyme
2 garlic cloves, smashed
3 cups whole milk
4 (6-ounce) skinless cod fillets
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place potatoes in a medium pot and add cold water to cover by 1"; season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until fork-tender, 15–20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Return potatoes to pot; add 2 Tbsp. cooking liquid and 2 Tbsp. oil and lightly mash. Season with salt. Keep potatoes warm over low heat until ready to serve.
  2. Combine leeks, thyme, garlic, and milk in a medium wide saucepan. Season generously with salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until leeks are just beginning to soften, 6–8 minutes. Gently slide cod into infused milk and poach until flesh is cooked through and beginning to flake, 7–9 minutes (adjust heat as needed to maintain a low simmer; thicker pieces of fish will take longer to cook).
  3. Divide warm potatoes, leeks, and cod among shallow bowls. Spoon some poaching liquid over each. Drizzle with oil; season with pepper.