This is a great do-ahead dish. It can chill in the poaching liquid for up to a day or two. Feel free to use whatever herbs you like, especially thyme instead of the tarragon. For a dramatic effect, serve in a martini glass.
2 pounds jumbo or colossal shrimp, deveined and peeled, shells reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 slices lemon peel, each about 1-2 inches
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 rib celery, sliced
2 sprigs tarragon
2 sprigs Italian parsley
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
Peel shrimp, reserve shell, set aside. Fill large dutch oven with water, add remaining ingredients, including shimp shells. Bring to a boil, let simmer for 20 minutes. Add shrimp, let come back to a low boil, poach for 30 seconds to 1 minute (less time if shrimp are smaller.) Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.
Test a shrimp for doneness. It should be just cooked through, with a firm bite. Ladle shrimp and broth into container and refrigerate until chilled or until ready to serve. Serve with either Classic Cocktail Sauce and Riesling, or Shallot Lemon Oil with a White Burgundy such as Mersault. Perfect appetizer for 4-6