Court Bouillon recipes

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Court Bouillon

Traditional uses poaching seafood and fish


If you are doing a large piece of salmon, or a whole one, or a large piece of any fish to be served cold, you then want a bouillon that has a pleasant blending of flavors and is well punctuated with herbs and seasonings. Such a court bouillon may be used as the basis for a remarkably good aspic.

Reduce the court bouillon after removing the fish. Clarify by adding white of egg and eggshell to the broth.

For a large fish:

  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 quart white wine
  • 1 cup wine vinegar
  • 3 onions
  • 9 cloves
  • 4 carrots, finely cut

Add the eggshells and egg whites, and over high heat beat constantly with a wire whisk until the aspic reaches a boil. Then turn off the heat and let the aspic settle for approximately 10 minutes. Strain, very carefully, through a sieve lined with a linen towel, being sure not to disturb the liquid as it drips through the towel, this can cause the aspic to cloud.


This is really an essence of fish, for it uses the bones and heads to make a richer bouillon. It is an excellent base for sauces, or it may be cooked down to about a third of its volume and used as a flavoring agent or glaze for fish dishes.

2 pounds fish bones and heads
3 quarts water
1 quart red wine
Bouquet garni (thyme, parsley,
2 stalks celery
1 onion stuck with cloves
3 carrots cut in quarters
1 tablespoon salt

Cook the bones and heads of fish in 2 quarts of water for 25-30 minutes. Add the remaining water and all the other ingredients and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Add the fish and cook according to the recipe.



  • 1 pound fish bones and heads
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 quart dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 onions stuck with cloves
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the fish bones and heads in the water for 30 minutes.

Strain through fine cloth.

SIMPLE Court Bouillon


This bouillon can be used for whiting, halibut, cod, and many of the small white fish. Combine equal quantities of milk and water with just a little or more salt. Bring to a boil before adding the fish. Reduce the bouillon over a fairly brisk flame after the fish is cooked and you can use it for sauces.


Sea bass, striped bass, red snapper, and other similar fish should be poached in a simple salt and water bouillon. They have distinction and flavor in themselves and should not be assaulted with artificial seasonings. Other flavors and seasonings will come directly from the sauces served with these fish.