Wild Recipes

Crispy Skin Wild California Salmon

Latest posts by A.J. Fick (see all)

Crispy Skin Wild Salmon

Recipe contributed by Guest Writer J. Doughty who runs the website From Field To Plate

The tale of the meal!

California has been in one of the worst droughts we’ve ever seen. Our hunting and fishing seasons have been greatly impacted because of the lack of water. There is no exception when it came to our Northern California wild salmon fishing season in 2014. Most years, a single angler was allowed 2-4 salmon, this year if was reduced to 1 fish in most areas.

California Salmon Fishing

I have a close family friend who was lucky enough to head up north with his family and fish for this amazing fish. They got to a piece of land owned by close friends and we’re taken to the secret family honey holes. They were shown how to make homemade bait, tie lines, and the tricks for casting and reeling in salmon.

They started getting fish on the line after learning how the river moved, how the fish reacted to the bait, and how drastically different salmon fishing is compared to any other fishing. Darren hooked this 25 pound monster; not only hooked but landed! Here are a couple pictures of this beautiful fish!

California Wild Salmon

I was blessed with some of this delicious pink game meat. So to honor this beautiful cut of meat I decided to cook my favorite salmon dish…

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Crispy Skin Wild Salmon


1-2 pounds Salmon Filet Skin on (de-scaled)

4 cloves crushed garlic

4 sprigs Fresh Thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried)

2 springs fresh rosemary (or ½ tablespoon dried)

Sea salt & cracked Pepper to Taste

3 tablespoons Olive Oil or avocado oil


Take your Salmon filet and cut into individual serving size. I like to cut them to the size of my hand. Place salmon on a cutting board skin side up.

Take a sharp knife and cut ¼ inch into the salmon, be careful not to cut all the way through the salmon. Make cuts ¼ inch apart.

Mince the Thyme and Rosemary. Add to crushed garlic and mix.

Use the Garlic Mixture by pressing it into the slices you just cut. Lightly brush the salmon filets with olive oil, careful not to remove the garlic mixture. Next salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium sauté pan or cast iron skillet heat remaining oil on med-high heat.

Once pan is hot, reduce heat to med, cook salmon skin side down 2-3 minutes. The salmon will start to turn a pale pink 2/3 the way up the salmon

Gently slide the spatula under the salmon, be mindful not to rip the skin, flip and cook another 2-3 minutes on opposite side

Remove from heat, serve with favorite sides and enjoy

A.J. Fick

Born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania, I’ve lived in southern California, central Texas, and currently reside in western Idaho. I consider myself a western hunter at heart, enjoying being part of vast landscapes and the thrill of the stalk. One of my hunting mottos is “stretch the stalk, not the shot”. My motivations as an outdoorsman are rooted in the sustenance, independence, and challenging physical aspects. In fact, my largest driving factor for physical fitness is preparing for upcoming hunts and ensuring I’m well-prepared to climb mountains and cover ground with a heavy pack. I also recognize and respect the importance of conservation efforts for our wild animals and wild places and the close connection to hunting and fishing. If we want future generations to experience the wonder and adventure of the outdoors, and gain the countless benefits, we must continue to make wildlife conservation today’s priority to ensure continued opportunity.

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