Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-Vent
When Laduree, the French confection shop opened its restaurant in Soho, they brought over some menu favorites. Among them was the "Vol au Vent" de Volaille aux Champignons Sauvages, a vol-au-vent of chicken and wild mushrooms. That was the inspiration behind this recipe and we stayed as close to the original that we love without sacrificing quality or flavor.
In France and Algeria you can buy freshly baked vol-au-vent pastries from neighborhood bakeries. While that’s not an option in the US, the availability of puff pastry in most supermarkets and the short defrost time (about 20 minutes), make freshly baked vol-au-vent a viable option.
Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-vent
This is a recipe for a flaky pastry topped with a velvety mushroom and chicken sauce. The pastry recipe below is foundational to other vol-au-vent recipes. Select mushroom varieties you like, the more delicate, and the wilder the better.
- by Soumeya | April 2019*
- Prep time: 20 minutes
- Cook time: 40 minutes
- Inactive time: 30 minutes
- Total time: 60 minutes
- 1 box puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten*
Chicken Mushroom Sauce
- 4 oz dried morels
- 20 ounces mixed mushrooms (chanterelles, whites, Browns…etc), washed and cut into strips
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock *
- 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts *
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper *
- 2 tablespoons butter cut into 4 cubes *
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 celery stalks diced *
- 3 shallots diced
- 2 anchovies minced
- 6 garlic cloves minced *
- 2 cups heavy cream *
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream *
- ½ cup parsley minced *
- ¼ cup chives minced *
- 1 teaspoon French mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Defrost the puff pastry according to package directions.
- Place a pastry mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, unfold the pastry and smooth it out using your hands.
- You will need two circle cutters, one 3-4 inches in diameter and one 2 inches in diameter.
- Cut 12 large circles (using the 3 or 4 inch cutter).
- Take 6 of the circles and using the small circle cutter cut out 6 smaller circles from each.
- Place the 6 large circles without the holes on the baking sheet. Brush with egg wash.
- Take the 6 large circles with the holes and place each carefully on top of one of the large circles. Brush with egg wash.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. This will prevent the pastry from shrinking.
- Bake the vol-au-vents in a 350 F preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Chicken Mushroom Sauce
- Soak the morels in a bowl filled with water so they are submerged. Do this at least 1 hour before use.
- Once the morels soften, wash them to remove soil and sand. Cut into small slices.
- Place the chicken stock in a bowl, add the sliced morels all the other sliced mushrooms. Set aside.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper
- In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, melt 2 cubes of the butter.
- When it starts to sizzle add the chicken breasts and brown each side. Let one side turn a golden brown before flipping to the other side. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through, that will happen we add the chicken to the sauce.
- Remove the browned chicken and set on a cutting board to cool.
- Using the same Dutch oven, remove any blackened bits, and melt the remaining butter.
- Add the shallots, carrots and celery. Sauté until golden brown.
- Add the mushrooms. Using a slotted spoon, take the mushrooms out of the stock. Set the stock aside.
- Cook the mushrooms until the moisture dries out. 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and anchovies. Sauté 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and scrape the bottom of the Dutch oven. Mix and let it come to a simmer. 5 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream, mix and bring to a simmer.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized strips. Add the chicken to the sauce. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the sour cream, parsley, chives and mustard. Mix well and bring to a simmer. The sauce is done but if you would like it to be thicker, let it simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Idealy both the pastry and the sauce are warm. The sauce at the very least should be warm.
- Place one pastry on a plate, ladle one or two servings of the chicken and mushroom sauce on it.
- Garnish with parsley and chives.
- For the remaining pieces of puff-pastry dough, you have a few options: savory options for crackers include sprinkles of parmesan cheese, or nigella seeds, or everything-but-bagel, or a few salt flakes. Sweet options include sugar, citrus zest mixed with sugar, or vanilla sugar. Whatever option you pick, make sure to first brush some egg wash on.
Denotes items that we prefer to be organic. Read more about it here: Items to buy organic when grocery shopping.