Prep time 20 minutes
Active prep time 20 minutes
Special equipment needed – None
Special skills needed – None
For the first 30 years of my life, I cooked every trout I ever caught exactly the same way. Seasoned with salt and pepper with a pat of butter and a lemon slice inside the cavity and baked in foil. I like catching trout enough to tolerate that preparation and I’d never kill a fish that I didn’t want to eat. Then I started learning more about cooking and I started playing with different ideas. Now I have a solid dozen different ways to cook trout and I enjoy them all quite a bit more than I did the original. I try to keep all of my trout recipes simple enough to cook in the forest over a campfire and this one is no exception. For the chorizo, there are many different types out there, but I prefer the pasty mixture that comes in a tube and can be spread like peanut butter as opposed to the dried variety that is more dense like salami. Remember to be careful of those little pin bones when you eat the fish. If you peel gently, you should be able to leave most of them attached to the spine.
4 whole rainbow trout, gutted with gills removed. Heads can be removed or left on
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh or one teaspoon dried Rosemary
1 Lemon, quartered
¼ Cup Chorizo
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Tear off 4 sheets of aluminum foil large enough to make a packet for each fish. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Season each fish with salt and pepper on both sides and some in the cavity. Use more salt than you think you need on the skin as the salt will need to permeate the skin while cooking. Sprinkle the rosemary equally over each fish. Squeeze a lemon quarter over each fish and tuck the squeezed lemon inside the cavity. Put ¼ of the chorizo into each fish and spread it out to a thin even layer. If you leave it balled up, it may not cook all the way through, so make sure to flatten it out. It is OK if some squishes out the bottom. Seal the fish into the packets and place on a sheet pan or in a roasting pan. If you are using wild caught rainbow trout, these probably average about 12-14 inches and should cook in 12-15 minutes. Remember that you need the chorizo inside to cook too, so err on the side of caution and cook it to the top end of doneness. For monster wild trout or store bought trout, you may have to cook substantially longer. I’ve always used the rule of thumb on trout that it should cook for 1 minute per inch with a 10 minute minimum. This works almost without fail on wild trout, but store bought trout can be really fat and in that case, you just have to make your best guess and then check one for doneness. The fish is done when the meat flakes easily at the thickest part and the skin comes off easily. Look at the chorizo and see that the fat is rendered to a liquid and the meat has solidified to look a bit like a sloppy joe. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Personally, I like to peel the skin at that point and the baste it with a bit of that spicy chorizo fat.