What is Parisienne Sauce?

Brendan McGuigan

Parisienne sauce, also known as Allemande sauce, is a classic French sauce. It consists of a classic velouté sauce, whipping cream, egg yolks, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. It is a versatile sauce, and is one of the most popular French sauces.

Parisienne sauce is often served with frog's legs.
Parisienne sauce is often served with frog's legs.

Velouté sauce is the foundation of Parisienne sauce. Velouté is one of the foundational four French sauces, as laid out by Careme in The Art of French Cooking, along with Parisienne sauce, Béchamel sauce, and Espagnole. Velouté is made by taking a light, boneless stock of veal, fish, or chicken, and thickening it with a roux of butter and flour. Usually velouté will be referred to based on the meat stock used to create it, such as veal velouté.

Parisienne sauce can be served with chicken breasts.
Parisienne sauce can be served with chicken breasts.

To create the Parisienne sauce, one simmers the velouté. The egg yolks and whipping cream are then mixed together, and then a bit of the velouté is added slowly to the mixture. The entire mixture is then placed in a sauce pan and stirred over high heat until it boils, then stirred for a further minute and removed from the heat. The Parisienne sauce is then strained to remove any bits of egg white that may have made their way in with the yolks and solidified, and the sauce is further simmered while lemon juice, salt, and pepper are added.

Because the velouté includes flour, the Parisienne sauce can withstand a great deal of high heat without the egg yolks scrambling, making it a fairly unique white egg sauce. The classic Parisienne recipe in the United States comes from Julia Child, and includes 1 ½ Cups velouté, ½ Cup heavy whipping cream, 2 egg yolks, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a bit of lemon juice to make two full cups of sauce.

Many variations on Parisienne sauce exist, some giving a more American flavor to the sauce. Some people choose to turn Parisienne from a simple blonde sauce into a cheese sauce, by using cream cheese instead of heavy whipping cream. Olive oil may also be added to change the consistency somewhat, and both paprika and chervil are sometimes added to change the flavor.

All four of the mother sauces in French cooking, including Parisienne sauce, are incredibly versatile because they can be created well in advance and frozen. They can also be modified later quite easily, allowing them to be a dynamic part of a wide range of recipes.

Parisienne sauce is used with all sorts of dishes: it may be served with fish fillets, scallops, shrimp, chicken breast, pork loin, frog’s legs, beef salad, and any number of other meals. It is incredibly versatile, and since the velouté can be made with different meats, the flavor can be changed radically to best suit a specific dish.

Parisienne sauce can also be served with pork loin.
Parisienne sauce can also be served with pork loin.

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