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Potted Salmon Recipe

So many guests have requested this Potted Salmon recipe.  It’s a delicious make-ahead-of-time appetizer. And it would be a terrific addition to any party menu.  Read the recipe through first. It may seem like a lot of steps, but it is easy to make.  We serve Potted Salmon in individual 1/2 pint serving jars. Feel free to use anything you wish.  You may also opt to serve it in one large serving bowl, surrounded by assorted toasted breads, melba, and crackers.

Potted Salmon Recipe  Yield = 1 quart ( Four 1/2 pint  individual servings)


  • 1 lb Skinless Salmon Fillet
  • 208 grams (about 1 cup) Crème Fraiche
  • Zest of one lemon
  • ¼ cup Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup Chives, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Tarragon, finely chopped
  • 3 whole sprigs of Thyme
  • 2 whole sprigs of Tarragon
  • 2 stems of Italian Parsley
  • Salt (Sea salt or Kosher)
  • Pepper
  • Clarified Butter

You will also need:

  • Large freezer ziplock bags
  • Instant read thermometer (to check water temperaure)
  • Ramekins or small 1/2 pint glass serving containers


  • Place a pot of water (large enough to hold your salmon fillet) on the stove.  Heat water to 130 degrees.
  • Generously season your salmon on both sides with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
  • Place salmon in heavy duty freezer ziplock bag.  Add the whole sprigs of herbs (parsley,tarragon, and thyme).  You may have to cut your fillet to fit in bag.
  • Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag. You can use a bowl of water to push the air out by submerging it in water. Close the ziplock bag
  • When hot water is holding at 130 degrees (or as close as you can get it), place the salmon in the hot water.
  • Poach until just finished – about 15-20 minutes. Your timing may vary depending on how hot your water is.  ** Your salmon is done when it easily flakes apart and has a light pink color (but is still moist).
  • Once your salmon cooked, remove bag from water. Drain away any liquid that may have come out of the salmon. Discard this liquid.
  • Once the salmon is cool enough to handle, but still warm, flake the meat into a large bowl.
  • Place salmon in refrigerator to fully cool.
  • When salmon is fully cool, add all other ingredients to bowl.  Using a spatula, fold everything together until well combined.
  • Taste and season to your taste. Don’t be afraid to be aggressive. This will be served cool. If you would like more lemon zest, add a little.  If you want your salmon mixture to be creamier, add more crème fraiche.  Just add small amounts at a time, and taste along the way.
  • Spoon salmon mixture into your individual serving containers.  Leave some room at the top.
  • Chill for a few hours.  Then add a thin layer of clarified butter on top of each serving.  Chill again to set butter.
  • Before serving, take out for preferred temperature (serve cold, cool, or room temperature).
  • Serve with toast points, crackers, capers, pickles, dill, and similar accompaniments.

Please Note: If you prefer not to cook your salmon “sous-vide” style, you certainly can bake your fillet. Be sure not to dry it out. Place your fillet on a cookie tray, lined with parchment paper.  Season salmon as stated above – with salt, pepper, lemon zest, and whole herbs. Add a sheet of parchment paper on top of the salmon fillet, and then cover with foil. Although all ovens vary, try baking at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

* If container is sealed tight, this salmon mixture can stay fresh in refrigerator for 7 days. *

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