Flounder Poached in Court Bouillon

Poached FlounderOK, this sounds a lot fancier than it is.  Flounder was on sale at the market, so we got some.  Had some myseriously un-drank wine laying about the house, and we had just planted some fresh herbs.  (I also wanted to expand my repetoire a little bit.)  As I was preparing it, I was somewhat hesitant, since there was little to no color, and I assumed that he flavors would be too…’subtle.’  I ordinarily favor big, bold flavors – and let me just say that this actually delivered! 

If you’re intimidated by cooking fish, this is a good place to start, since you really can’t mess it up.  This is also a good recipe for dipping a toe into French cooking methods.  Goes well with white wine or Two Brother’s Brewing Domaine Dupage French Farmhouse Ale.  The Brussels sprouts in the picture look a little dead, but let me tell you – they taste really good with some ‘browning’ on the outer leaves!


  • 3/4 to 1 lb. of fish fillets (I used flounder – any other delicate white fish would do)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (including leaves)
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tbls salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbls flour
  • 1 1/2 tbls butter
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Onion chives, chopped


  1. Place all ingredients except fish, flour, butter, and lemon juice in a large stockpot.  Bring to a boil, then gently simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain into a large saute pan or skillet.
  2. Heat court bouillon to 160 F.  Add fish fillets – they should be completely submerged by the bouillon.  (Pro tip – if the fillets are skin-on, cut X’s into the skin to prevent the fillets from curling up.)  The temperature of the bouillon should remain between 160 and 180 F – cooking time is about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare a roux by melting butter in a separate small saute pan, adding flour, and cooking while stirring.  Once fillets are cooked through, remove from liquid and set aside in a warm oven.  Add about 1 cup of bouillon to roux and stir.  Cook sauce down to desired consistency, adding lemon juice near the end.
  4. To serve, spoon sauce over fish and garnish with chives.  I served mine alongside roasted Brussels sprouts – rice or mashed potatoes would also be good.

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