Court Bouillon (pronounced “coor boo-YONE”) is a quickly-cooked flavorful, aromatic vegetable broth used for poaching fish and shellfish.
It is also sometimes used for poaching vegetables, eggs, sweetbreads and delicate meats.
Court Bouillon loosely translates as ‘briefly boiled liquid’ (French court) or “short broth” because the cooking time is brief in comparison with a rich and complex stock, and it is generally not served as part of the finished dish, as a normal broth might be. Typically, cooking times do not exceed 60 minutes.
What makes Court Bouillon more than just a run of the mill vegetable broth is the inclusion of acidulating ingredients such as either wine, vinegar, or lemon juice. In addition to contributing their own flavor, the acids help to draw flavors from the vegetable aromatics during the short preparation time prior to use.
Enjoy this simple (and tasty!) recipe for a traditional Court Bouillon!
What You’ll Need
- 1 gallon water (cold)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 1 medium rib celery (chopped)
- 1 medium carrot (chopped)
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 fresh parsley stems
- 1 tsp black peppercorns (crushed)
How to Make It
- Combine all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed stock pot or soup pot. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain and either use immediately or cool.
NOTE: When poaching small fish, sliced fish (i.e. fillets) or shellfish, start with hot court bouillon. Large fish should be started in a cold court bouillon and then slowly brought to a simmer for even cooking.