As with all white fish, haddock can be tricky to get right at first, but with care and practice it's easy to master this delicately-flavoured fish. Fear of undercooking often results in overcooked fish - take off the heat when the fish is just starting to flake and is hot in the middle, the residual heat will finish off cooking the fish while you're plating up.
Cooking haddock whole
Baking haddock is a superb way to cook a whole haddock. Ensure that it’s been gutted, gills and scales removed (which can be done by the fishmonger). Like most whole fish, haddock can also be barbecued, cooked en-papillote or roasted. If you’re roasting haddock add a generous amount to the cavity of a whole fish and into the slashed flesh before cooking - this will add a depth of flavour. For a rough guide, roast haddock for around 12-15 minutes per 1lb of weight at 200°C/gas mark 6. To check that the fish is hot all the way through insert a skewer into the thickest part – it should come out hot, the flesh should also be flaky.
Cooking haddock fillet
Haddock fillets are readily available from your fishmonger. When cooking a haddock fillet, make sure that it has been pin-boned first. Battered haddock is probably the most popular method, but try pan-frying or cooking en-papillote. To crisp the skin of haddock when pan-frying, place it skin-side down in a preheated pan for a majority of the cooking time, and only turn it over in the last minute to finish it off.