Cast Iron Salmon in a Blood Orange Sauce

Black cast iron skillet with pieces of salmon sitting in a blood orange sauce. Each salmon has a half slice of blood orange and a small sprig of rosemary on top. Slices of blood oranges and herbs sit next to the pan.

5 from 7 reviews

This salmon dish is both beautiful and nutritious. The sweet and tart blood orange creates a lovely red glaze that is flavored with garlic and fresh herbs and is cooked to flaky perfection.


  • 4 - 6-ounce Sockeye Salmon, with skin on
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 8 large Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 5 large Sprigs of Thyme
  • 3 large Sprigs of Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
  • 5 tablespoons Orange Liqueur
  • 3 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cup freshly squeezed juice from Blood Orange
  • 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon of Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 2-4 tablespoons Raw Honey (to taste)
  • 3 teaspoons Cornstarch mixed with 4 tablespoons of orange juice mixture from the pan
  • 2 slices of Blood Oranges, halved for garnishment (optional)
  • Small Rosemary Sprigs for garnishment (optional)


  • Remove 4 pieces (6 ounces each) salmon from the refrigerator, let sit for 15-20 minutes before cooking to come to room temperature.  Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Generously salt and pepper on the flesh side.
  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the salmon skin-side down and sear for 4 minutes, turn over and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the salmon from the pan to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the 8 cloves of minced garlic, 5 sprigs of thyme, and 3 sprigs of rosemary to the pan. Cook for 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups of white wine and 5 tablespoons of orange liqueur, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the liquid has been mostly evaporated.
  • Add the 3 teaspoons of orange zest, 1 1/2 cups of freshly squeezed blood orange juice, 5 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon each of chopped rosemary and thyme. Taste and add 2-4 tablespoons of raw honey depending on your sweet preference.
  • Remove about 4 tablespoons of orange juice from the pan and whisk in 3 teaspoons of cornstarch.
  • Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan, bring to a boil, whisking continually until the mixture thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and add the seared salmon back to the pan and spoon the orange glaze over the salmon.
  • Garnish with orange slices, cut in half, and small rosemary sprigs, optional.
  • ENJOY!


  • If you cannot find the blood oranges, you can substitute a regular navel orange instead.
  • Always choose wild-caught salmon instead of farm-raised. Farm-raised fish can have high doses of antibiotics, some have a coating of chemicals used to clean the tanks and some salmon are colored with a pink dye trying to appear as wild-caught.
  • Look for a label that indicates that the salmon has been flash-frozen immediately after being caught. Don’t be fooled by the thawed salmon nestled atop the ice at your seafood counter. They’ve probably been previously frozen and thawed from a package like what you should be picking out in the freezer section.
  • Peeled and whole garlic cloves can be stored in an air-tight glass jar for 7-10 days. But you don't want to chop or mince them ahead of time, otherwise, they can lose their flavor and potency.
  • When zesting the blood orange, be careful not to penetrate the white pith which is between the flesh and skin of the orange as it can be quite bitter.
  • Take time to pat each salmon piece with paper towels to remove any excess juices. This will help reduce splattering when it hits the hot oil also helps them to not stick to the pan.
  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper just prior to cooking otherwise the salt will begin to break down the proteins and draw out its moisture.
  • When cooking the salmon, always start with the skin side down. The skin is tough and durable and helps protect the delicate flesh of the salmon from overcooking.
  • Once you place the salmon in the pan, resist the temptation to touch it, poke it or move it around.
  • The internal temperature should end up being 125°F for medium-rare and 130°F for medium. Salmon will continue cooking once removed from the heat, so I recommend taking it out of the pan when the internal temperature reaches 5° less than the finished preference.
  • If the sauce does not thicken enough, remove a couple more tablespoons of sauce to a small bowl, whisk an additional teaspoon of cornstarch, and whisk it into the sauce again. Continue to stir until thickened.


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