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Court-bouillon COURT-BOUILLON

Court-bouillon is a classic French cooking liquid seasoned with herbs and spices, used to gently poach fish and other seafood.

Here is one version of it with added lemon and dill  —  you can change the proportions of the ingredients given to suit your taste.

about 1000 ml water
about 60 ml white wine vinegar
large pinch of coarse sea salt
1 small onion
1 small carrot
a few black peppercorns
(a few white peppercorns)
bouquet garni or a couple of thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf
a few large sprigs of dill (with stalks)
1 - 2 lemon slices

Court-bouillon ingredients Peel and thinly slice the carrot and the onion. Coarsely crush the peppercorns. Place all the ingredients in a large, shallow saucepan (see the picture on right) and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Poaching fish:
If you are using the court-bouillon to poach fish, let it cool to room temperature. Usually the fish is placed in the cool court-bouillon and heated until the liquid is simmering. Immediately, the pan is taken off the heat and the fish is left to cook in the hot liquid until just done.

Poaching shrimps:
If you are using the court-bouillon to cook shrimps or prawns, add them in the hot, gently simmering liquid and cook briefly until pink and firm.

In addition to the ingredients listed above, some white wine, green and/or white part of leek and parsley stalks can be added to the broth. The lemon slices and dill may be omitted from the broth.

See recipes for poached salmon and cooked shrimps.


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