The Chinook salmon is called “King” salmon for good cause. It is the largest species of Pacific salmon and prized by sport and commercial fishermen alike. It’s extremely popular with diners, who enjoy the rich flavor of the deep red flesh, packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Chefs like working with it because it lends itself to so many different cooking techniques and styles. It is delicious poached, pan seared, roasted, grilled, sous vide, cured for gravlax, smoked hot or cold, and more!
If you’re working with whole, eviscerated fish, and fillet it out, you potentially lose 40%-50% of the original weight in the remaining head, belly trim and skeletal left behind. There is still a good amount of meat to be had in both the head and off the bones. Bake these off until the meat is just cooked, and using a fork, gently pull the meat away being careful not to let any bone get mixed in. Carefully open up the collar and head area to expose more rich meat, and the cheeks. You can use this meat for sandwiches, salads, etc. but one of my favorite things to use it for is making salmon rillettes.