Poached Fish

Poisson Poché

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

Rules vary depending on the lawmakers; some claim that only fresh-water fish should be treated in court bouillon, salt-water fish being poached in salt water; furthermore, different court bouillons are often recommended for different fish. As far as I’m concerned, fresh fish of any sort is good poached in salt water; it is better if a bay leaf and a branch of thyme are added; and it is best if treated in a wine court bouillon, the specific proportions of the ingredients not being important. Onion, thyme, bay, white wine, and water are the constants (if dill is used, I prefer to eliminate other herbs); fennel and oregano are also particularly good fish herbs. The following recipe should be considered symbolic—don’t bother to weigh vegetables or measure liquids (fill the saucepan a third or half full with water and when the vegetables are half cooked, pour in as much wine as you like). Leek or celery may be added; add 10 or 15 peppercorns if you like, but only a few minutes before straining—or, if the court bouillon is not strained, add them only when the fish is put in to poach.