Thursday, May 23, 2013

Recipe: Chicken and Mushroom Vol-Au-Vents

Occasionally, Hubby would put in a request for me to make him something from his childhood/teenage years. One of the things he craved for was vol-au-vents, which he associates as a festive treat during Christmas/ New Year that his mum used to make for him. The original plan was to make these for Christmas canapes but I didn't have time since I had too many other things on the menu, so I made it for him on New Year's Day instead :)

Chicken and mushroom vol-au-vents

Traditionally, a vol-au-vent (French for "windblown" to describe its lightness) is a small hollow case of puff pastry made by cutting two circles in rolled out puff pastry, cutting a hole in one of them, then stacking the ring-shaped piece on top of the disc-shaped piece. However, while I was reading Delia Smith's recipe book, she talked about John Tovey's brilliant idea of simply baking small rounds of pastry then halving them and sandwiching them together with a filling. This way, the pastry are crispier and no pastry has to be scraped out and wasted. I like this idea, so this is what I did for my vol-au-vents.

Crispy and light with a rich, creamy filling

To make the sauce, I used a roux (butter and flour mix) to add richness to the sauce. For the filling, you can use mushrooms, prawns/shrimps, chicken breast, salmon, crabmeat, oysters or asparagus, but I chose to go for the classic chicken and mushrooms. For the puff pastry, I used ready-made puff pastry which I simply cut  using a 10-cm cookie cutter (you can also make smaller ones with 5-cm cutter if serving as canapes) and then baking in a hot oven for 8-10minutes.

The result - a flaky, crispy puff pastry with flavorful, rich and creamy filling - and Hubby had two of them :)

Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Great Tastes French
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 5

5 no. store-bought puff pastry (I used Kawan brand square puff pastry)

For the sauce and filling
40g butter
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
375ml (1 1/2 cups) milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper

200g grey oyster mushroom, sliced
150g chopped cooked chicken breast

1. Preheat oven to 200°C (with fan). Lightly grease a baking tray with butter. Cut a 10cm circle from each puff pastry sheet and place rounds on the tray.

2. Place in preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the pastry has risen and is golden brown and crisp. Cool on a wire rack.

3. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the spring onion and stir for 2 minutes or until soft. Add the flour and stir for another 2 minutes, or lightly golden. Gradually add the milk, stirring until smooth. Increase to medium heat and stir constantly for 4 minutes, or until the mixture boils and thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Remove and stir in filling of your choice.

4. The filling must be cooked separately. Simply place some olive oil in a large skillet and saute the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat. Season well. The chicken has been poached and chopped into small pieces. Add the cooked mushroom and chicken into the sauce.

5. To assemble, cut the puff pastry into half horizontally. Scoop sauce with filling onto the base and then top with the other pastry half. Serve immediately.

Note: Other fillings you can use are cooked prawns, crabmeat, oysters and steamed asparagus.

*I am submitting this to this month's Little Thumb's Up "mushroom" event hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

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  1. that's quite a tempting-looking interpretation of vol-au-vent! would make a nice starter before a steak dinner :D

  2. This looks so good! We love puff pastry with savoury filling and this looks wonderful. A great idea to make the vol-au-vent in a sandwich style!
    Thank you for linking to LTU!

  3. Yen,can you also call this a French pie, then? Now that you introduce this dish, I think I recall that I've seen it in a magazine before but served in a round puff pastry "cup." Yes, I like the combination of chicken & mushroom! Looks so delicious there!

  4. That looks so good! Wish I could try that.

  5. Looks so good! I wish i had puff pastry!

  6. Good morning,Yen. This is a perfect breakfast for me now,haha...

  7. It looks so so so delicious...tempted to try it some day :)

  8. wow I must try this recipe when I have my own it..

  9. I suppose this is more like a puff pastry sandwich? Hehe been wanting to make these but waiting for another chance for me to do the puff pastry again.

    1. This is Delia Smith's interpretation of a vol-au-vent without any wastage, I guess. Less fiddly too.

  10. I love this... love the creamy chicken filling between the crispy puff pastries!

  11. Yen , the creamy chicken filling itself makes a great topping for baked rice :D

  12. wow...looks so tempting. Wish I can have this for breakfast or mayb during tea break. ;-)

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