The key to creating a crystal-clear consommé is the use of egg whites, which trap and filter the impurities that make the stock appear cloudy. Called a “raft,” the egg whites are mixed with ground meat and mirepoix (sautéed carrot, celery, onion), then gently simmered, floating on the top of the pot until the stock is clarified. A bouquet garni (a tied bundle of parsley, thyme, and bay leaf) adds flavor and depth to the stock while it simmers. Once the broth is prepared (we’ve opted for a chicken base here), a delicate herbed crêpe sliced into “noodles” elegantly garnishes the bowl, adding the classic Célestine finish.
Special equipment: You will need butcher’s twine and a standard paper coffee filter for this recipe.
What to buy: The hallmark of a properly made consommé is its depth of flavor and clarity, so we strongly recommend making the stock yourself to use here. If you’re in a pinch, you can purchase high-quality, low-sodium chicken broth as a substitute.
Game plan: The stock can be made up to 1 week ahead.
You can make the crêpe batter 1 day in advance and refrigerate it tightly covered. This recipe only uses 2 crêpes for the consommé garnish, but you can use the leftover batter to make ricotta-cheese-filled crêpes for an easy breakfast.
This dish was featured as part of our Epic Christmas Feast: Lost Recipes from the Grand Hotels.
For the crêpe batter:
For the consommé:
To cook the crêpes:
To finish and assemble the consommé: