What is a bouquet garni?

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A bouquet garni is a french cooking technique for a bundle of herbs tied together with string. It adds flavour and aroma to a dish.

Cooking School Provence says:

A bouquet garni should include a minimum of three herbs or aromatic vegetables, but you can use as many as you like. Add bouquet garnis to stews, roasts and pot roasts at the end of the preparation stage, just before the main cooking starts. Remove and discard the bouquet garni before serving.

There are three main steps to preparing a bouquet garni:

  1. Select a good base with a 4 to 7 cm segment of either celery, fennel or a leek leaf. Alternatively you can use a small square of muslin cloth. 
  2. Add herbs to the bundle. 
  3. Wrap the herbs up in the base and tie up the bundle with a piece of kitchen string. Le Cordon Bleu recommends you “leave a long tail to the string for easy removal”. Some chefs tie the bundle to the pan handle.

Variations

  • classic base: parsley and a bay leaf or thyme
  • meat dish: add celery and rosemary
  • chicken or pork dish: celery, rosemary with tarragon or sage
  • fish dish: fennel, thyme, dill and a bay leaf

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