Cod Francese combines white, flaky fish pan seared to a golden brown and is served with a delicious and a savory lemony sauce. The richness of the butter and tangy flavors of the white wine and lemon elevate this easy weeknight meal to a restaurant quality dinner.
Why this recipe is just so good....
- Cod is an excellent piece of fish to cook since it is a mild, delicate tasting fish and pairs really well with a flavorful sauce.
- The lemon butter white wine sauce, known as Francese sauce, is rich and tangy and is perfect for drizzling over any seafood. You can try it with Shrimp, Scallops or even chicken.
- Quick dinner - Cooking fish is perfect for a weeknight meal since it is made quickly and the sauce can be made while the fish rests briefly. Dinner is ready in about 30 minutes with little clean up.
These are the ingredients needed to make Cod Francaise:
- Fresh or defrosted cod fillets
- fresh lemon juice
- white wine
- garlic powder
- chicken stock
- Old bay, salt, black pepper
- olive oil
- fresh herbs- sage, dill, thyme, parsley, Bay leaves
- If you want to substitute the white wine in this recipe, Healthline has some suggestions. Add a bit more chicken stock, some white wine or white vinegar or some added lemon juice. Stir in a teaspoon of sugar to counteract the extra acidity.
- Taste the sauce as you add or take away any ingredients to make sure the flavor tastes good to you. Start with only a little at a time, you can always add more if needed.
- I always prefer fresh herbs if they are available. But you can substitute dried herbs. In general, use 1 teaspoon dried for every tablespoon fresh herbs that are in a recipe. And always check your bottled herbs for freshness. The expiration dates are usually on the bottom of the jar.
How to make Cod Francese (Cod Francaise)
Stir together the garlic powder, Old Bay, salt and pepper. Pat dry the cod fillets with paper towels. Press the seasonings onto both side of the fillets.
Heat a large cast iron or other large non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place ½ tablespoon butter and ½ tablespoon oil.
Place cod in the skillet and let them pan sear on one side for 4 minutes, without moving them.
Flip oven and cook the other side. Test with a thermometer and if the internal temperature reads at least 140°F, the fish is done. Remove cod to a plate, they will rest for about 5 minutes while the sauce is made. The temperature will rise to 145°F., which is what the USDA recommends for fish.
How to make Francese sauce?
Wipe out the frying pan, heat on medium high heat. Heat the remaining butter and oil. Stir in the chopped herbs. Lower flame to simmer.
In a small bowl, stir the white wine, lemon juice and Arrowroot or all purpose flour. Stir well to remove any lumps. Slowly pour the wine mixture into the fry pan. Continue simmering for another 1-2 as sauce will thicken.
Remove the bay leaves and serve with lemon slices.
Serve the cod on a plate with the sauce, drizzle over the fish if you prefer. Or even use the sauce to dip the cod into. Add an extra squeeze of lemon over fish.
- After purchasing the cod fish fillets, do a quick inspection, feeling for any tiny bones that were overlooked. Use your fingers or clean tweezers to remove any.
- Make sure the cod is dry before seasoning. You want the fish to get browned and sear. Because if it's too damp, it will steam instead.
- The fry pan should be very hot with the oil and butter before adding the fish. The oil should not splatter or smoke, but should be hot. This will ensure the fish will get browned and avoid it sticking to bottom of pan.
Storage & Reheating
This recipe is for two servings and you will probably not have leftovers. However, you can double the recipe for larger servings. If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two days. You can freeze for about a month.
Reheat cod fish by heating a few tablespoons of chicken stock or water in a skillet over low-medium heat. Heat the fish until fully heated through.
The USDA recommends fish be cooked to 145°F. The best way to determine the temperature is with an internal meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish.
And you can also tell if it is done by using a fork to press down to see if it flakes apart easily. The flesh of the fish will also turn white and no longer translucent.
Yes, you can use haddock, tilapia, grouper or flounder. They are mild tasting white fish that don't taste "too fishy". Many people prefer these types of fish fillets because they don't have a strong seafood taste.
I served the Cod with sautéed spinach, cooked in some oil and garlic. My husband likes a baked potato along with fish. You can make any quick vegetable like broccoli, brussels sprouts or squash.
We also like to have a salad alongside the fish. Enjoy a healthy dinner in about 30 minutes!
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Cod Francese combines white, flaky fish and a delicious and a savory lemon sauce. The richness of the butter and tangy flavors of the white wine and lemon elevate this easy weeknight meal to a restaurant quality dinner.
- 2 cod fillets ( 5 ounces each)
- 2-3 teaspoons Arrowroot powder or flour *
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine *
- ¼ cup chicken stock, low sodium
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme ( or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage (or ½ teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- Stir together the garlic powder, Old Bay, salt and pepper. Pat dry the cod fillets with a paper towel. Press the seasonings onto both side of the fillets.
- Heat a large cast iron or other large skillet over medium-high heat. Place ½ tablespoon butter and ½ tablespoon oil in the pan and heat until very hot, but not smoking.
- Place cod in the skillet and let them pan sear on one side for 3 minutes, without moving them.
- Flip the fish over and cook the other side.
- Test with a thermometer and if the internal temperature reads at least 140°F, the fish is done. Remove cod to a plate, they will rest for about 5 minutes while the sauce is made. The temperature will rise to 145°F., which is what the USDA recommends for fish.
- Wipe out the fry pan, heat on medium flame. Heat the remaining butter and oil. Stir in the chopped herbs. Lower flame to simmer.
- In a small bowl, stir the white wine, lemon juice and Arrowroot or flour. Stir well to remove any lumps. Slowly pour the wine mixture into the fry pan. Continue simmering for another 1-2 as sauce will thicken.
- Remove the bay leaves before serving.
* The Arrowroot powder is a lower carb, gluten free substitute for the flour.
*Use a white wine that you also enjoy drinking. If you like the taste in a glass, then you will like it in the Francese sauce. You can substitute wine for chicken broth. Or try mixing white wine vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar.
* For larger portions or to serve more people, you can double the recipe.
Keywords: white fish, seafood, lemon butter sauce, healthy dinner, quick dinners