Several thoughts run through one’s head when they think of French cooking. Visions of buttery goodness, heavy creams and fancy displays. There is much more to French cooking than that; France isn’t just Paris after all.
French food has several fundamentals, such as mire poix, bouquet garni or herb satchel and chicken stock.
A mire poix is 3 parts onion, 2 parts celery and one part carrot. You’ll find this in most French dishes with exception of fish and a few other recipes.
The bouquet garni is a collection of herbs sometimes put into a cheesecloth. The typical ingredients are: Bay leaf, pepper corns, thyme and parsley stems.
The chicken stock: Never throw away your bones and vegetable trimmings again! This is a useful way of using parts you might ordinarily toss. Another thing is, with this fundamental ingredient, you get to use two other fundamental ingredients, yes… mire poix and bouquet garni. Don’t add liver, put that aside for a pate or something, livers are even good sautéed in butter. Check out recipe below.
Chicken Stock Ingredients Carrots Celery Onions Chicken Giblets (NO LIVER!) Chicken Bones Water Bouquet Garni
Add all ingredients to a stockpot, cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil and let simmer. Stocks can simmer for over an hour. It depends on strength you wish to have.
Drain and let liquid cool.
So how do I use these ingredients? Check this next recipe out. We’re going to use all three fundamental ingredients! Soup, hey it’s first thing I had to make in culinary school. With this basic recipe, you can substitute main ingredient with just about any vegetable. For now we’ll keep it simple, Cream of Asparagus Soup.
Cream of Asparagus Soup Ingredients Asparagus (about a pound will do) Mire poix (keep it simple, use 1 large onion, 3 celery stalks, and one medium sized carrot) Bouquet Garni 2 russet potatoes Chicken stock Salt and Pepper White Wine Heavy cream