Sheepshead fish can be found hanging around jetties, pilings, and offshore wrecks. They live all along the East Coast of the United States, from NC to FL.
The flesh of sheepshead is quite delicious. You are what you eat and the sheepshead’s diet consists mostly of shellfish, so they tend to have a sweet, shellfish flavor and firm, moist flesh. The white fillets cooked Francese style is a favorite of mine.
- 4 skinless, boneless, sheepshead filets (about 1-1/2 pounds)
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, with rind, cut in thin rounds
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
- 1 cup fish stock
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet.
Dredge both sides of the Sheepshead filets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off. When the oil is nice and hot, add the filets and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove the filets to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.
Toss the lemon slices into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the wine, broth, and lemon juice, simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Roll the butter in some flour and add it to the skillet, this will thicken the sauce. Stir to incorporate and dissolve the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan; place the lemon slices on top of the cutlets. Simmer gently for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving. Awesome way to prepare a wonderful tasting fish.