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Food The Bite:

Slow Roasted Arctic Char with Cranberry Chutney

Slow Roasted Arctic Char with Cranberry Chutney
full of fall favors

One of my all-time favorite fall outings is visiting the cranberry bog that’s just a few miles from our home in Amagansett. To get there we stroll down the Walking Dunes Trail and through an otherworldly area known as the Phantom Forest, where thirty-foot trees are almost entirely covered by shifting sand. Every year, just before Thanksgiving, we gather as many wild berries as we can carry. While I love them in desserts, this savory chutney might just be my favorite cranberry concoction.The jewel-toned fruit teams up with thyme, shallots, and preserved lemons to create a puckeringly tart counterbalance to creamy acorn squash and rich Arctic char. Hearty and full of fall favors, it’s a perfect pescatarian option for Thanksgiving!

Slow Roasted Arctic Char with Cranberry Chutney

Athena Calderone, Cook Beautiful




1 acorn squash, halved and cut into 1-inch-thick half moons

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Salt and freshly cracked pepper

1 whole Arctic char fillet (about 1½ pounds)

1 orange, zested; ½juiced

A few sprigs fresh thyme, some leaves reserved for serving

2 tablespoons pepitas, toasted, reserved for serving


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

A few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon minced habanero chile

2 cups whole cranberries (if fresh are unavailable, substitute frozen)

¾ cup fresh orange juice, divided, plus more if needed

3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 preserved lemon rind finely chopped, a handful reserved for garnish


Make the char:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Spread the squash on a baking sheet; drizzle it with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash until golden and crisp on one side, about 15 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the squash and cook for another 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325ºF. Remove the squash from the oven and push it to the perimeter of the baking sheet. Place the Arctic char on the baking sheet; sprinkle it with the orange juice and half of the orange zest. Drizzle the fish lightly with oil, scatter with the thyme sprigs, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the fish is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Make the chutney:

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the thyme and chile; sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the cranberries,½ cup of the orange juice, and the sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have burst and the sauce has reduced, 6 to 8 minutes (if your cranberries are frozen, this will take 8 to 10 minutes). Stir in the orange zest, lemon rind, and remaining ¼ cup orange juice. If the chutney seems too thick, thin it with additional juice. Just before serving, garnish the fish with the reserved lemon rind, reserved orange zest, toasted pepitas, and a handful of thyme leaves. Serve the cranberry chutney on the side.

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