Court Bouillon (Poaching Liquid for Seafood)
Makes enough broth to poach two pounds of fish
When I grew up in Pennsylvania, fresh seafood was not readily available, at least not where I lived. Most often, we had to buy it frozen, and the quality was not quite as good as the fish that is flash-frozen today. When I think back, it was really amazing what my mother could do with those frozen blocks of fish in a box. My favorite was her recipe for poached cod or halibut with browned butter, which is in the similar and related recipes links. She poached the fish in lightly salted water, which is perfectly acceptable. However, a court bouillon adds more flavor, is very easy to prepare and only takes thirty minutes. It can be prepared ahead and refrigerated for several days. This recipe can be made in any amount needed.
- 1 celery rib, halved
- 1 small onion, peeled and halved
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lemon, halved
- 3 cups dry white wine
- 6 cups water
- Salt and pepper to taste (see notes below)
Place all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Strain out the vegetables, lemon and bay leaf. Proceed with the poaching recipe.
Notes: Go easy with the salt and pepper. You can always add more later, if needed. If you did not plan ahead and do not have time to make the broth, just add the aromatics, as well as a little wine to the water when you poach the fish.