Chicken vol au vents, another excellent Belgian comfort food dish that appears quite frequently on our dinner table here. It may be an old-fashioned one but nevertheless it is also extremely tasty!
I made my puff pastry vol au vent myself from scratch for this recipe. They are very easy to make actually. But you can quite often find them ready-made in a deli or bigger supermarket here in Europe.
Chicken Vol Au Vents Recipe
Whenever I have a fairly lazy weekend coming up, I like to make this dish because it does take some time to prepare. I usually boil the chicken and make the chicken broth on Saturdays. Then on Sundays all I need to do is to finish the chicken stew. Which means that I have to shred the boiled chicken, boil the mushrooms and meatballs and then make the silky rich white sauce using the homemade chicken broth I made the day before.
You can of course make this chicken stew in one day. But it’s just good to know that you can prepare this recipe some time ahead. If you make it a day in advance, I suggest that you keep all the components separately: shredded chicken, boiled mushrooms and meatballs and the white sauce. Just reheat the sauce the day after and then add the other components.
Creamy White Sauce
Yes indeed, I use the freshly made chicken broth to make the white sauce: and it’s this broth that makes this stew very flavorful. You can also use milk of course (or replace half of the stock by milk or cream) if you prefer but I don’t see why because this broth is so flavorful. It would be a waste to not use it. Whatever you do: don’t throw that rich chicken stock away because you can make soups with it. Or freeze it for later.
In Belgium we traditionally serve this chicken stew and vol au vents puff pastry with Belgian fries and a fresh green salad. Yummers!
Do you like the sound of this Belgian shredded chicken stew? Then also check this next video out! Here I am, preparing my puff pastry vol au vent stuffed with chicken for a live Google Plus cooking show named Savour the Flavour by Lin Bloor!
Belgian chicken vol au vents: chicken with meatballs and mushroom in white sauce!
- 3 lbs whole chicken (1,350 g)
- 8 medium white mushrooms
- 1 small onion chopped
- 5 medium garlic cloves peeled
- 1 medium fresh carrot chopped
- 2 stalks fresh celery chopped
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- 10,5 oz ground veal (300 g), or ground pork
- 1 egg yolk beaten
- 2 oz plain flour (55 g)
- 2 oz unsalted butter (55 g)
Add the rosemary, garlic, bay leaves, cloves, chopped celery, carrot and onion to a high pan. Season generously with pepper and salt.
Cut the chicken up: legs, wings and breasts. Also chop up the remaining carcass. Add it all to the pan. Then fill it with water (I added about 7 cups or 1,7 l) until the chicken is fully submerged.
Place the pan over high heat until boiling, then leave it there for 10 minutes. Then turn the heat lower and gently cook the chicken for about 30 minutes. After that take the chicken off the heat and let it cool down for another 45 minutes. In the meantime chop the mushrooms into bite-size pieces.
Transfer the pork and veal mince to a bowl and season with pepper and salt. Knead the mince well and make tiny balls of ½ oz (15 g) each. You should end up with about 20 of them. Cover the meatballs with cling film and store them in the fridge until later.
Then remove the cooled cooked chicken from the hot stock (don't throw the stock away, we'll make our white sauce with it later). Remove any chicken skin, bones, veins, cartilage or sinew (discard all this) and pick the cooked meat from the bones. Shred the larger bits up roughly. Then transfer the chicken meat to a large pan.
Strain the chicken stock in a fine sieve or colander over a large pan. I ended up with 6 cups (1,4 l) of flavorful chicken stock. Discard the cooked vegetables.
Then bring the stock to a gentle boil again. Once warm, add the meatballs and mushrooms.
Poach them for about 5 minutes. Then remove the meatballs and mushrooms using a slotted spoon. Add them to the shredded chicken.
Take the chicken stock off the heat now. In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the flour and whisk well until you get a wet crumble.
Gently bake this over medium-low heat for about a minute. Then gradually add splashes of the warm chicken stock until you get a sticky flour paste. Keep stirring. Don't add too much at once or the sauce will become lumpy.
- Whisk well. Gradually add more chicken stock (about 3 to 4 cups) until you get a pretty runny white sauce. In the end, remove the white sauce from the heat and add the beaten egg yolk.
Stir quickly so the yolk doesn't scramble. The sauce will thicken a little extra (this egg yolk technique is called a 'liaison' in French). Check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste. Then add the white sauce to the chicken, meatballs and mushrooms.
Stir carefully. Cover the pan for another 5 minutes and let the vol au vent warm through or place it back over very low heat.
Put the vol au vent puff pastry casings onto plates. Top with the chicken, meatballs and mushrooms. Serve the chicken vol au vents hot.