Court Bouillon Definition

Learn about court bouillon, a flavorful cooking liquid for poaching seafood and vegetables. Discover ingredients, uses, benefits, and a delicious recipe for poached salmon.

What is Court Bouillon?

Court bouillon is a flavorful cooking liquid used for poaching or simmering seafood, vegetables, or meats. It is made by simmering aromatic vegetables, herbs, and spices in water or stock along with acidic ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, or wine. The resulting liquid is then used to cook delicate ingredients, infusing them with flavor without overpowering their natural taste.

Ingredients in Court Bouillon

A typical court bouillon includes ingredients like onions, carrots, celery, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, and white wine or vinegar. These ingredients work together to create a savory and aromatic base for poaching or simmering.

Uses of Court Bouillon

Court bouillon is commonly used to cook seafood like fish, shrimp, or lobster, as well as delicate vegetables like asparagus or artichokes. The gentle cooking method of poaching in court bouillon helps retain the natural flavors and textures of the ingredients.

Benefits of Court Bouillon

Using court bouillon to cook seafood or vegetables can enhance their flavor and provide a light and healthy cooking method. The combination of aromatic vegetables and herbs adds complexity to the dish without the need for heavy sauces or seasonings.

Example Recipe: Poached Salmon in Court Bouillon

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Handful of parsley
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 4 salmon fillets

1. In a large pot, combine the onion, carrots, celery, water, white wine, lemon, bay leaves, parsley, and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer.

2. Gently add the salmon fillets to the pot and poach for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through.

3. Remove the salmon from the court bouillon and serve with a side of vegetables or rice.


Court bouillon is a versatile and flavorful cooking liquid that can elevate your dishes with minimal ingredients. Whether poaching fish or simmering vegetables, court bouillon adds a subtle complexity that enhances the natural flavors of the ingredients.

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