Court Bouillon

This aromatic liquid is mainly used for the poaching of fish and seafood.


  • 900g/2lb fish trimmings
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 onions
  • 1 bottle (750ml/27fl oz) dry white wine (it doesn’t matter if it has gone vinegary)
  • 2tbsp white wine vinegar
  • bay leaf or kaffir lime leaf
  • few parsley stalks
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp sea salt


  • fish kettle or pan large enough to hold the whole fish (e.g. big Le Creuset casserole)
  • small saucepan
  • fine sieve


Mise en Place

Prepare the vegetables: peel the carrots and cut them into rounds about 3mm / ⅛in thick. Slice the celery stalk into thin pieces. Peel and finely slice the onions.


Put all the chopped vegetables and the remaining ingredients into the fish kettle or large pan. Add 2.25 litres / 4pt of water, place over a moderate heat and bring to a simmer (if using a fish kettle use two burners). Simmer for 20 minutes.

Turn off and allow to cool to room temperature. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary. The liquid should be acid and salty; adjust with more salt and vinegar if necessary.