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Photo: margouillat photo (Shutterstock) No one has ever described me as “subtle” or “restrained,” and I have a tendency to gravitate towards flavor profiles that are as strong and (sometimes) as polarizing as my personality. I like lots of salt, acid, umami, and those beautiful dark, roasty flavors brought out by the Maillard reaction, but I am still quite capable of appreciating simplicity and nuance . French food embodies both of those qualities, and court bouillon is one of the easiest ways to impart delicate, nuanced flavors to delicate nuanced proteins. But what is this fancy-sounding liquid, and is it really fit for royalty? What is court bouillon? It is not, as I first assumed, bouillon so fancy it is meant to be served in the court of the king. “Court” means “short” in French, and court bouillon is a merely a bouillon that can be thrown together in a short amount of time (about an hour at most). It’s usually made with a throuple of vegetables—the iconic trinity of celery, carrot, and onion, but sometimes leeks are involved—along with plenty of salt, some white wine, a bouqet garni of herbs, peppercorns, and sometimes lemon (the acid helps draw flavor out of the plant matter). The main difference between court bouillon and “regular” bouillon is that the court bouillon contains no meat and is devoid of any animal collagen, because—unless you’re working with a pressure cooker—you aren’t going to extract much in a “court” amount of time. (Note: When […]