of Court Bouillon and Fumet
By Renee Shelton
need to know
Court bouillon: water
that is flavored with seasonings and/or herbs, an acid, and
sometimes vegetables. Used to poach fish. The choices of each
depend on resulting flavors of the item being cooked.
Seasonings and herbs can be salt,
pepper, peppercorns, thyme, anise seed, fennel seeds, parsley,
bay leaves, chives, star anise, caraway, etc.
An acid can be wine, lemon juice,
The vegetables used can be onions,
carrots, celery, shallots, celery leaves, fennel stalks, green
onions, leeks, mushrooms, garlic, etc. These are often coined
Fumet: a flavorful
fish stock. Leftover poaching liquid is a great base for a fumet.
Sachet: a bag of
spices, tied in cheesecloth. Spices and herbs can include: peppercorns,
fresh parsley stems, whole clove, bay leaf, smashed garlic clove.
A basic sachet assembly: Assemble
your desired flavoring ingredients and place in the center
of a piece of cut cheesecloth, about a 3 to 5 inch square
piece depending on the size needed. Gather up the corners
and sides and tie with piece of kitchen twine, allowing a
long piece of the twine to remain (do not trim); this can
be tied to the handle or left out of the top of the pot for
Bouquet garni: fresh
herbs and flavorings tied together, at the stems usually, such
as parsley thyme, savory, sage, celery leaves, leek leaves,
A basic bouquet garni assembly:
Assemble your desired flavoring ingredients and tie together,
allowing a long piece of the kitchen twine used to remain
(do not trim); this can be tied to the handle or left out
of the top of the pot for easy removal. Sandwiching the herbs
between the larger ingredients (such as celery stalks, onion
or leek halves) can make the tieing easier and more secure.
For additional recipes, read Eleven Court Bouillon Recipes.
Basic Court Bouillon:
Bring 2 quarts of water to soft
boil with desired ingredients for desired flavor; reduce heat
and let simmer 20 minutes. Strain and cool properly.
Vegetable Court Bouillon:
"To every 2 quarts of wateradd 1/2 cup of vinegar,
2 stalks of celery including
the greens, 1 large onion quartered, 2 whole carrots,
a few lettuce leaves,
2 bay leaves, a handful
of parsley, 2 teaspoon
of dill weed, 8 whole peppercorns, and a tablespoon
of salt. Bring to a
boil, then simmer slowly for 30 - 40 minutes and strain."
(McClane, 311) .
Milk Court Bouillon: Can be used to keep the flesh of cod, walleye and halibut
quart of cold water add 1 cup of fresh milk,
one tablespoon of salt, and the juice of half a lemon.
This liquid is not heated before using; simply submerge the
fish in it, bring to boil, then simmer."
(McClane, 311) .
Place desired aromatic vegetables (onion, celery, leeks, carrots,
shallots, mushrooms, etc.) in bottom of buttered heavy pot.
Place leftover or reserved bones from filleting (lean
fish) on top and cover loosely. Set over low heat and
cook slowly 5 minutes or so until the bones are opaque and
some juices are released. Add water or court bouillon, dry white wine and chosen seasonings and flavorings
in a sachet and/or bouquet garni (for easy
removal of flavorings and seasonings). Bring to low simmer,
skim as needed, and allow to cook for up to 45 minutes. Strain
and cool properly.
A.J. ed. McClane's New Standard Fishing Encyclopedia and International
Enlarged and Revised Second Edition. New York:
Shelton is the owner of this site, runs the fishing chef blog, and is the Fishing Editor for the 2nd largest women's website on the internet, BellaOnline.com.
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Fishing 'Culinary Info' created by Fishing & Food Editor, Renee Shelton.