Whole Roasted Red Snapper

Serves 6

"One of the finest communal meals we know of is a whole fish cooked on the bone along with hearty accompaniments.  Our favorite method for whole roasted fish is a Portuguese-inspired preparation in which a red snapper is stuffed with herbs and cooked in foil with sausage, potatoes, clams, olives, and fennel.  We like to take the fish to the table still enclosed in its shiny wrapper, then slash it open to serve" Ⓒ SAVEUR JANUARY 2009


  • 1 large bulb fennel, cut into wedges & blanched
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes, boiled & halved lengthwise
  • 7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb fresh linguiça or kielbasa, cut into 1⁄4" slices
  • 1 whole cleaned red snapper (2-3 lbs)
  • 1 lemon, sliced into ¼" half moons
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 sprigs thyme, plus 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 10 sprigs parsley
  • ½ lb mixed olives, pitted
  • 12 littleneck clams
  • ½ cup white wine
  • zest of 1 orange


  1. Trim and discard stalks from fennel; reserve 10 wispy fronds. Halve fennel bulb lengthwise; slice into ¼"-thick wedges. Bring 2 qts salted water to a boil in a 4-qt saucepan. Blanch fennel for 4 minutes; drain and set aside
  2. Add potatoes to boiling water; reduce heat to medium; simmer until tender, 12–15 minutes. Drain potatoes; set aside
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until browned, about 5 minutes; set aside
  4. Heat oven to 475˚. Cut 4 angled slits on each side of fish, about halfway to bone. Put a lemon slice into each slit. Line a baking sheet with an 18" x 24" sheet of heavy-duty foil. Transfer fish to foil. Rub with 3 tbsp oil; season with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with remaining lemon, thyme sprigs, and parsley. Arrange fennel, potatoes, sausages, olives, and clams around fish; sprinkle with remaining thyme. Drizzle with wine. Put an 18" x 24" piece of foil over top. Crimp edges together to form a packet
  5. Roast for 35–40 minutes. Cut into foil; carefully pull back edges. Sprinkle with zest, remaining oil, and fennel fronds