Your Basic Salmon Dinner Is Begging To Be Glazed With Bourbon

Relatively quick and easy to cook (if you follow a few basic tips), salmon is a delicious addition to any home cook's repertoire. Its subtle but distinct flavor (creamy, lightly sweet, and mild) is a blank canvas that along with its pinked color, lends itself to simple elegant presentations. Whether it's a weekday-friendly dinner or an impromptu dinner party, salmon not only tastes great and elevates any gathering but its preparation can include anything from a variety of herbs, spices, aromatics, citrus, marinades, and sauces. And while cooking salmon en papillote is an excellent place to start, if you're looking to elevate this succulent fish out of the realm of basic, a bourbon glaze is the way to go. 

With its smoky, brown sugar tones of caramel and vanilla, bourbon is a perfect pairing for salmon. In fact, many of salmon's most popular recipes such as teriyaki-glazed salmon or citrusy orange salmon share a similarly sweet and smoky profile in their glaze. In addition, incorporating bourbon into a salmon glaze couldn't be easier.

Infusing bourbon into your next salmon fillet

Tasting Table recipe developer Molly Pisula likes to make the glaze for her Bourbon-Glazed Salmon ahead of time, to speed up the evening cooking process even more. She recommends using a mid-range bourbon, ensuring a good flavor at a reasonable price. Splurge on a higher-quality bourbon and the high-end nuance will just get lost in the mix. That's because Pisula uses a melange of other ingredients for her glaze, including maple syrup, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, tamari, tomato paste, crushed red pepper, minced garlic, and brown sugar.

Pisula uses half of a cup of bourbon in her recipe, but you can adjust this according to your personal taste. She whisks it into the glaze alongside everything else, simmering on medium-low for 8 to 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Pisula makes sure to reserve some of this tasty glaze to serve alongside this juicy salmon, using the rest to coat it before baking. Serve with your favorite starchy side and fresh vegetables and you'll have a sophisticated meal that will leave you so heady you may just have to break etiquette and resort to finger-licking this sticky sauce.