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Court Bouillon Recipe


pot of court bouillon
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Court Bouillon Recipe

Court Bouillon (pronounced "coor boo-YONE") is a flavorful, aromatic liquid used for poaching fish and shellfish. The simplest court bouillon consists of nothing but salted water, and some traditional recipes call for a mixture of half salted water, half milk.

This court bouillon recipe uses a mix of aromatics, spices and acid, which will give the best results when poaching most kinds of fish and shellfish.

Also see: How to Poach Fish.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 gallon cold water
  • 1 handful Kosher salt
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium rib celery, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 8 fresh parsley stems
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed stock pot or soup pot. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.

  2. Strain and either use immediately or cool. (See note below.)
Makes 1 gallon of court bouillon.

NOTE: When poaching small fish, sliced fish (i.e. fillets) or shellfish, start with hot court bouillon. Large fish should be started in a cold court bouillon and then slowly brought to a simmer for even cooking.
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