Sachet d’épices basically means a bag (or sachet) of spices. In the traditional sense, it’s spices and herbs, and most commonly contains peppercorns, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, parsley stems and bay leaves.
A sachet d’épices is a great addition to soups and stocks. The sachet of spices and herbs makes it easy to fish out of your stock once it’s done. I made white chicken stock today. My house smells like fall. I love it! A sachet d’épices definitely went in the stock pot. Another common spice bundle is bouquet garni. Instead of putting spices and herbs in a bag, sprigs of herbs are tied together with twine. Sachets are great if you are using small spices like peppercorns or garlic cloves.
Sachet d’épices – The Execution
Start by snipping a cheesecloth to roughly a 8″ x 6″ rectangle. Grab some kitchen twine, snip about six inches of twine, and set both of these aside. Next, gather the spices. A traditional sachet d’épices calls for parsley stems, thyme and bay leaves. I include garlic cloves and peppercorns for most recipes as well. Depending on the desired flavor, add rosemary, marjoram, oregano, or whatever your heart desires. The possibilities are endless!
Once the herbs and spices are selected, lay the cheesecloth square on a flat working surface. Then place the herbs in the middle of the cloth. Gather the sides of the cloth, and bundle them around the herbs. The cheesecloth should form a little pouch for the herbs and spices.
Finally, secure the top of the cheesecloth with twine. The sachet is ready to go! Toss in a batch of chicken stock or soup, and pull it out with a spoon when the soup/stock is done.
What is your favorite sachet d’épices combination? Do you prefer bouquet garni?
Sachet d'épices add flavor to soups and stocks without the hassle of fishing out stems and peppercorns at the end.
- 1 cheesecloth , cut to about 8" x 6"
- 10 sprigs thyme , fresh
- 10 stems parsley , flat leaf and fresh
- 20 peppercorns
- 3 garlic cloves , whole and fresh
- 3-4 bay leaves , dried
- twine , about 6"
Cut the cheesecloth to a rectangle roughly 8" x 6" (or the size you need to fit your herbs). Cut a piece of kitchen twine or something to tie off your bag to about 6". Set these aside.
Gather the herbs and spices. Trim the parsley stems and thyme sprigs if needed to fit the cheesecloth piece.
Lay the cheesecloth on a flat working surface. Place the herbs and spices in the middle of the cheesecloth.
Next, working in a circle, gather the ends and sides of the cheesecloth and bunch them to form a pouch around the herbs and spices.
Finally, tie the pouch with the twine cut in step 1. Toss the pouch in a soup or stock, and remove the entire pouch with a spoon or rubber-headed tongs when ready to eat.
Discard the pouch.