Chicken vol au vents, another comfy dish that appears quite frequently on our table here. A bit old-fashioned maybe but nevertheless extremely tasty! I made my puff pastry vol au vents myself for this recipe (they are very easy to make!) but you can sometimes find them ready-made in a deli or bigger supermarket here in Europe.
I use the freshly made chicken stock to make the white sauce: this makes it very flavorful. You can use milk (or replace half of the stock by milk or cream) if you prefer. Whatever you do: don't throw that rich chicken stock away! Serve the chicken vol au vents with fries and a fresh green salad.
Ingredients for 4 to 6 persons
3 lb (1,350 kg) whole chicken
10 white mushrooms
1 medium yellow onion
½ garlic bulb
1 medium carrot
1 celery stalk
1 fresh rosemary sprig
3 bay leaves
5,5 oz (155 g) pork & veal mince
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp butter
4 vol au vents
Roughly chop up the celery stalk, carrot and yellow onion. Transfer all of this to a high pan and add the rosemary, the garlic, the bay leaves and the cloves. Season generously with pepper and salt.
Cut the whole chicken up into several pieces: legs, wings, breasts and chop up the remaining carcass. Fill the pan with cold tap water (about 5 cups or 1,2 l) until the chicken is fully submerged.
Place the pan over high heat and bring it to a rolling boil. Once boiling, leave it there for 5 to 10 minutes. Then turn the heat low and gently cook the chicken for about 30 minutes. After that turn the heat off, take the chicken off the heat and let it cool down for 40 to 45 minutes. In the meantime clean the white mushrooms and chop them up into bite-size pieces.
Transfer the pork and veal mince to a bowl and season with pepper and salt. Knead the mince well and roll it into tiny balls of about ½ oz (15 g) each. Put them on a clean plate, cover with cling film and store the meatballs in the fridge until needed later.
Remove the cooled cooked chicken from the hot stock (keep it aside to make your white sauce later). Very carefully remove any chicken skin, bones, veins, cartilage or sinew (discard all this) and pick the cooked meat from the bones. Transfer the white chicken meat to a large pan and cover.
Pour the hot chicken stock through a sieve or colander over a clean saucepan. Discard the remaining vegetable mixture.
Bring the stock to a gentle boil again. Once warm, add the meatballs and chopped white mushrooms.
Poach them for 4 to 5 minutes and remove them using a slotted spoon. Add them to the cooked chicken meat in the pan and cover again.
Take the chicken stock off the heat. In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat and add the plain flour.
Whisk well into a wet crumble.
Cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes to get rid of the floury taste. Add little drops of the hot chicken stock at a time to the baked flour. If you add too much at once, the sauce will become lumpy.
Whisk well. Gradually add more chicken stock (about 3 to 4 cups) until you get a slightly runny white sauce.
Season with pepper and salt to taste. In the end, remove the sauce from the heat and add the beaten egg yolk.
Stir well so the yolk doesn't scramble. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste if necessary. Pour the white sauce over the cooked chicken meat, meatballs and mushrooms.
Put the vol au vents onto plates. Top with the chicken, meatballs and mushrooms, and finish with the puff pastry lid. Serve the chicken vol au vents hot.
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