Court-bouillon

Court-bouillon is a light stock or broth used for poaching fish, shellfish, poultry, and sweetbreads. Court-bouillon is not the same as a rich, full-bodied stock and is generally not part of the finished dish. Court-bouillon often contains an acid such a wine, vinegar or lemon juice. Court-bouillon can be as simple as salted water flavoured with a few herbs such as a Bay leaf and a sprig of Thyme and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Ingredients for a Court-bouillon
Ingredients for a Court-bouillon

In Creole and Cajun ‘courtbouillon’ is a thick, rich Catfish stew most often thickened with a roux.

Court bouillon sufficient to poach 1 or 2 1 ½ lb Lobsters or a whole Salmon

4 litres of freshly drawn cold Water

350 ml quality White Wine

3 large Shallots, peeled and chopped

4 sticks of Celery, washed and chopped

2 medium Carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Leek, thoroughly washed and sliced

½ bulb of Fennel, washed and sliced

1 Bay Leaf

1 sprig fresh Thyme

1 sprig Tarragon

8 fresh Parsley stems

½ teaspoon Black Peppercorns, crushed

1 fresh Lemon, halved

Place in a very large pan, cover and bring to the boil. Add the lobsters and bring back to the boil and simmer for eight to ten minutes. Using a spider remove the lobsters and plunge in lots of iced water to arrest any further cooking.

For a medium poached salmon, place the washed salmon in a fish kettle or deep tray on a triple folded piece of foil. This will allow you to lift the cooked salmon out later. Cover with cold court bullion and a tight-fitting lid. Bring to the boil, simmer for four minutes and remove from heat. Leave in cooking liquor until total cold. Lift out and drain.

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