Orange Champagne Salmon en Papillote

This Orange Champagne Salmon will be one of the easiest entertaining recipes you will ever find.

En papillote just means it is wrapped in parchment paper so the salmon steams and all the juices and flavours in the packet make their own sauce.

I found this recipe in Cooking Light April 2007.  It was written with Lobster tails so you could try that too.

The food preparation is very easy.  The longest part of the prep is  cutting up the parchment paper for the parcels!

Be sure your parchment paper packets are fully sealed.  You want the fish to steam in the champagne sauce.

Once you cut out a generous heart shape (see recipe instructions for size of parchment paper sheets) you will start at the top of the heart with the fillet next to the long side fold.  Wrap the edge by making a thin fold. Then fold again.  Move slightly along the edge folding and refolding as you go.  You want a few small tight folds rather than one big one.  When you get to the end twist the end tightly to seal off.

You  will cook this at very high temperature 425 degrees for 18 minutes. Then they sit for 5 minutes. If you are having a leisurely dinner you can pop the packets in the oven just before you sit down to  your first course.

Opening the packets is too messy to expect each diner to open their own. I cut the packet open and plate each person’s salmon and then drizzle the sauce over the fillet.

I served this as part of a ‘Thank You Dinner’ for several of my great friends who house sat for us when we were away.  After handling a gas leak that required the fire department to investigate;  a service company to repair the gas line;  a wet basement that soaked an oriental, wool carpet and  downspout repairs Joanna, Sue, Chris and Darryl deserved every bite and more!

Along with the salmon I served this Asparagus Gremolata and Mediterranean Rice.

Salmon fillet on orange slices with fennel fronds plated with asparagus and rice

Wine Pairing

I went to one of my favourites seafood wines – Muscadet Sevre et Maine. Wines from this region are made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape.  They are typically light medium bodied,  clean and somewhat crisp but not overly acidic. There are hints of minerality from the soils and proximity to the sea. Check out Wine Folly’s full description of Muscadet Sevre et Maine wines, which in my opinion are one of the best value varietals going.  They never disappoint and taste like they should cost way more than the typical $14-$22 range.

If you are a die-hard red fan then look for something light like a Beaujolais, Pinot Noir or Cote du Rhone.



Salmon fillet with fennel fronds and sauce on a a bed or orange slices

Orange Champagne Salmon en Papillote

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins
Total Time: 43 mins
Servings: 4 servings


  • 4 6 oz salmon fillets (skinless)
  • 8 orange slices
  • 6 tsps butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds
  • 3/4 cup champagne (or any dry sparkling wine)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


  • Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper about 15 X 24 ". Fold in half crosswise. Draw half a heart on each piece. The fold is the center of the heart. Cut out the hear and open it flat.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. See Note 1.
  • Lay 2 orange slices along the fold. Place a salmon fillet on top of the oranges slices. Top with 1 1/2 tsps butter and 1 Tbsp fennel fronds. Pour 3 Tbsp champagne over the fillet.
  • Start at the top of the heart and vold the edges of the parchment, sealing the edge all along. Twist the end tip to ensure the packet is sealed. It is important that the packet is sealed or you fillet won't steam.
  • Repeat with the remaining 3 fillets.
  • Bake for about 18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow packet to stand 5 minutes. See Note 2.
  • Open packets carefully Transfer the salmon and sauce each persons plate. Finish with sea salt if desired.


Note 1 - My convection oven runs a bit cool so I actually set my oven to 450 degrees and cooked the fillets for 18 minutes.
Note 2 - The thickness of fillets an vary significantly.  Tuck any thin edges under to make your fillet a uniform thickness.   18 minutes was good for fillets about 2" thick.  Adjust cook time if yours are thinner or thicker.  Better to undercook and add a minute in the microwave than overcook.


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 46mg | Sugar: 0.4g

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