So somehow, I have snagged a whole frozen Arctic char. I happened to be in the Co-op when Qalingo brought in a bunch of fresh char, and let me tell you, it was flying off the shelves, they could barely stock it because people were grabbing 2, 3, 4 at a time. Needless to say, I had to join in the frenzy. I grabbed a few of these beauties, as well as some smoked char fillets, and proceeded to try to walk back to work with my haul. They were kind enough to give me a box, but the fish was so tall and heavy, I had to zig zag back and forth between railings when I left the Co-op. Fortunately, a kind Inuk stopped with his snowmobile and offered me a lift back to the clinic. Thank goodness! I would have never made it back myself! I gave him one of the smoked char packages as a thank you.
There is no real packaging, you get the whole fish without plastic wrap or anything. The fish is completely frozen and whole, nothing has been done to process it, as it is literally flash frozen once it is pulled out of the water (temperatures have been averaging minus 25 degrees Celcius this week up north.). You could use this fish as a serious weapon if you so choose. Now I have many excellent ideas on how to cook it, but what I really need from my Chowhound friends is info on how best to process it.
I am assuming the best thing is to let it defrost completely in the fridge, then scale it, then remove head and fins and guts, then cut into steaks or fillets. Well, I have never done this before, not with such a big fish. I have processed the odd smaller fish, but usually I buy my fish already filleted. Any suggestions and tips for a newbie?