Court-boullion is a traditional poaching broth for fish. Store the broth in airtight containers, and refrigerate for up to three days or freeze for up to three months. If using a fish poacher, fit a 10-quart poacher with the rack in the bottom, and place poacher over two burners.

  • Yield: Makes 6 quarts

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2003


  • 7 quarts water
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) dry white wine
  • 1 leek white and pale-green parts only, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds, washed well and drained
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 lemon washed and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt


  1. Fill a large stockpot or fish poacher with water (about three-quarters full). Bundle thyme, parsley, peppercorns, and fennel seeds in a small piece of cheesecloth to make a bouquet garni, and place in stockpot. Add remaining ingredients.

  2. Cover pot, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove lid; gently simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat; discard bouquet garni. Use immediately, or let cool completely, about 1 hour, before storing.


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