Court Bouillon 101

I posted a picture of my court bouillon on my facebook page and due to popular demand, here is the recipe, a few ideas for using it and a brief explanation of exactly what a court bouillon is.


What is Court Boullion?
“Court” is French for “short” and so the name court boullion refers to the short cooking time, as compared to a stock that takes hours and hours to create. It does not, however, refer to a soup eaten by the royals in Medieval Europe as believed for all of my cooking life, until I was set straight by the French traditionalist experience of culinary school. I still like image that the name Court Boullion conjures, though so I’ll continue thinking of damsels and knights, if it pleases my lady. Yes, it does.

How I make a Court Bouillon?
Fill a large pot with water. Into that, toss 2 onions, cut into chunks, a few cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of your knife blade, a tablespoon of black peppercorns, a tablespoon of red chile flakes, 3 or 4 bay leaves, a few stalks of celery snapped into smaller chunks, an orange or a lemon, cut into slices and a handful of fresh herbs like parsley, oregano, thyme, whatever you have laying around. Bring this to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to stand for 15 minutes more. Strain.

Ok, now what?

Uses for Court Bouillon:

• Use to boil shrimp for any recipe that calls for cooked shrimp, then save the boullion and use as a base for clam chowder, fish stew, crab bisque, etc in place of seafood or shrimp stock
• Boil corn on the cob
• Poach delicate fillets of fish
• Add miso and some soy sauce, a package of soba or udon noodles and a small handful of dried seaweed like wakame for a light Japanese dinner. Drop a fresh raw egg into the serving bowl and let it poach in the liquid
• Use instead of water to cook rice, couscous, barley, farro, or other yummy grain

Got more ideas? Leave below in the comments! I have about 6 quarts in my freezer waiting for a brilliant idea.