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Rosemary Butter Sauce - for fish or chicken

This delicious sauce is worth the little effort involved. In difficulty terms, it's foolproof - but it would be a highlight of any dinner party.
It's designed for fish - which can be simply poached, fried in butter or grilled; but is equally good with chicken, if the fish sauce base is replaced with its chicken equivalent.


A bunch - say 8 long sprigs - of Fresh Rosemary, the leaves only (stalks discarded)

1 level teaspoon (3ml) Black Peppercorns, crushed

90g/3 oz Garlic, peeled & chopped

750g/24 oz Butter

450g/1 Ib Shallots, peeled & chopped

450ml/17 fl oz Dry White Wine

350ml/ 12 fl oz White Wine Vinegar

300ml/10 fl oz Fish/Chicken Stock, mixed with a rounded teaspoon (5ml) of Cornflour

300ml/10 fl oz Double Cream

a few extra small Rosemary sprigs for decoration.


1. Melt a little of the butter over a low heat, and add the rosemary leaves, crushed peppercorns and the chopped garlic - and 'sweat' for a minute.

2. Add the shallots, then the white wine and white wine vinegar, and reduce by boiling until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.

3. Add the fish/chicken stock (already mixed with its cornflour) and simmer for a further five minutes.

4. Add the double cream, then the butter - a little at a time - mixing it well in.

5. Pass the sauce through a sieve, and check the thickness - it should be of good pouring consistency.

6. If it's a little thick, let it down with a little milk, if to thin, simmer for a few minutes to reduce it.

When serving, decorate the dishes with a small sprig of fresh rosemary.

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