"An experienced saucier uses herbs at several stages of the sauce-making process," writes author James Peterson in his seminal book Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making. A bouquet garni—a neatly tied bundle of parsley, thyme, and bay leaf—adds a layer of herbaceous flavor to stocks, the first stage of preparing a sauce. Here's how it's made at Le Ferrandi, the acclaimed cooking school in Paris.
2 outer green leek leaves
15 flat-leaf parsley stems
2 fresh thyme stems or sprigs
2 dried bay leaves
A bouquet garni is usually made by tying together herbs with kitchen twine or enclosing them in cheesecloth. At Le Ferrandi, students take a more resourceful approach, using items that are usually thrown away: the tough outer leaves of leeks, which become the wrapper, and the fresh stems or sprigs of flat-leaf parsley and thyme.
1. Trim the ends off the leek leaves to make two 7"-long pieces. Place parsley, thyme, and bay leaves in between the leek leaves.
2. Using an 18"-long piece of kitchen twine, wrap tightly to form a packet.
3. Trim excess twine; add to sauce or stock.