Court Bouillon

Yields 1 gallon
Preparation Time: 0:30

  • 5 quarts Water
  • 1 cup vinegar 3% (30 grain)
  • 2 tbl salt and white pepper
  • 2 carrots sliced, unpeeled
  • 1 onion peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • some celery leaves—chopped
  • 3 sprigs parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme leaf
  • 2 each bay leaves

Chop everything coarsely. Bring to a boil covered, simmer 20 min. Strain, then add salt and pepper. Equivalent amount of peelings and trimmings of the vegetables is economical and appropriate. However remember that standard preparations aid in getting up to standard results.

Court Bouillon means short boil. It is an acidulated vegetable stock, used to poach fish or fowl. The acid firms the flesh and keeps it white. Using a vegetable stock to poach helps to add instead of subtract flavor from what is being cooked, as plain water would. This should be about as sour as lemonade.

Shellfish, especially live ones like lobster, should be immersed in boiling court bouillon, head first to kill them. For large lobsters, (over 3-4 lbs) blanching them in this way shortens the time at high heat like oven or broiler, and so avoids toughening them.

Blanching "lobster tails" to be broiled half way, and finishing under the broiler avoids toughening them.

For shrimps and crabs, add 1—2 tbls Old Bay Seafood Seasoning, (often called Crab Boil). Undercook and allow to finish by cooling in the court bouillon for best flavor.

For delicate fresh water fish, such as trout or pike, soften chopped shallots in butter, and add water and white wine half and half. Use little or no lemon juice. Finish with appropriate aromatic herbs, salt &white pepper. Also see Moules Mariniere, Crayfish Mariniere. After cooking, this broth can be reduced and used as a stock for the sauce to go with the dish.

Steve's #21 Recipes

The Five Grande Sauces

Sauce Espagnole
Sauce Diable for Grilled Pork
Beef Sweetbreads in Mushroom Sauce
Chicken Stew Chasseur*
Braised Brisket of Beef
Fillet de Beouf aux Morilles
Autumn Roast Duck
Brown Stock—Estouffade*
Court Bouillon*

*Repeated from a previous article


©1996, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.

This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007

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