Saturday, November 13, 2010

Poulet Champignon Veloute en Voul Au Vent

French comfort food!  Delicious!  This is a very tasty lunch or light dinner recipe.  The flavor of the wild cepe, chanterelle and porcini mushrooms go so well with pastry and chicken.  Veloute is a French "mother sauce" that is so rich in flavor.  The visual appeal of a voul au vent puff pastry does make this entree very tempting.
     Recipe:  Boil some chicken stock and chopped wild mushrooms in a sauce pot.  The wild mushroom mix can be cepes, chanterelle and porcini like I used for this dish or just use a mix of your choice.  If you use dried mushrooms, soak them overnight in a refrigerator and add the mushroom soaking liquid to the broth too.
     Make a blonde roux over medium heat with equal parts of butter and flour while stirring.
     When the roux gives off a hazelnut aroma, add enough of the roux to the broth while stirring to thicken it to a medium consistency.
     Turn the heat to medium and simmer the sauce.
     Saute a little bit each of finely chopped shallot, garlic and leeks in butter over medium heat in a saute pan.
     Add some bite size pieces of boneless chicken.
     Saute till the chicken is fully cooked.
     Add a splash of dry white wine.
     Deglaze the pan and add the chicken mix to the sauce.
     Add a splash of cream to the chicken and mushroom veloute.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add a pinch each of thyme, sage and tarragon.
     Simmer and reduce the chicken and mushroom veloute over low heat till it becomes a rich medium consistency.
     Voul Au Vent Pastry Recipe:  I'll write a true puff pastry recipe at a later date.  A puff pastry recipe is a large blog page of its own.  To make a good puff pastry, the temperature of the pastry room must be about 60 degrees.  Making puff pastry in a warm kitchen is a good way to end up with a big batch of pie dough instead!  The temperature has to be chilly to keep the whole butter intact.  So when winter time starts, I will make a standardized recipe for puff pastry.  Till then, a quality frozen puff pastry will do.
     Place a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured counter top.
     Cut a large circle shape with a ring mold and place it on a buttered baking pan.
     Cut two more circle shapes and leave them on the cutting board.
     Use a smaller ring mold to cut the center out of the round circle shape pastry leaving a half inch wide ring circle shape.
     Brush the round voul au vent bottom piece of dough on the baking pan with egg wash.
     Lay one of the circle ring shapes of pastry on the bottom piece so the outside edges are flush.
     Brush the pastry ring with egg wash and repeat for the last circle shape.
     The pastry should look like a very shallow cup with a thick rim.
     Bake the voul au vent in a 350 degree oven till the pastry rises and turns a golden brown color.  The risen pastry will form a tall pastry cup.
     Place the voul au vent on a plate.  It may be necessary to press the center of the cup down because the bottom of the pastry will rise when baking too.  (Take care not to damage the edges.)
     Spoon the chicken mushroom veloute into the voul au vent and fill it so it overflows.
     Serve with a medley of sauteed vegetables seasoned with chopped herbs.  Garnish the plate with a parsley sprig.
     Yummy!  The deep flavors of the wild mushrooms becomes the star of this dish.  The veloute is smooth and rich.  The chicken is tender and is such a great match for the wild mushrooms in the veloute.  The pastry has a delicate crunch and a fine texture.  This is a very easy recipe if you use frozen puff pastry dough or pre made frozen voul au vents for this dish.  A classic home made puff pastry voul au vent is a better choice for distinguished guests.  Either way, this is a great meal!  ....  Shawna

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