More Great Recipes: French | Misc. One Dish | Poultry

Lighter Than Air Chicken

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Serves 8 | Prep Time 15 | Cook Time 20

Why I Love This Recipe

The other evening Filippo and I dined at a marvelous new restaurant in downtown Sarasota, Brasserie Belge. The evening was marvelous from start to finish; starters were champagne and lobster croquettes, main was muscles for Filippo while I chose Vol-au-Vent and we finished with a shared Dame Blanche!

I got to thinking ahead to dinner parties we have scheduled and wondered if the Vol-auVent would be something I could prepare at home for my guests.

Poulet Vol-au-Vent, simply translates to flying in the wind and refers to the lightness of the puff pastry, is really quite easy to prepare if you use frozen puff pastry shells and also, it turns out, lends itself well to making ahead of time and reheating moments before serving. The sauce is light but filled with flavor and I ended up serving the leftovers the following day over cooked jasmine rice. That was a huge hit with everyone so you have not only a new dinner party recipe; I have a new family favorite every day dinner!

Here is the recipe I came up with for the Poulet Vol-au-Vent.

Ingredients You'll Need

4 Chicken breasts skinned and cut into ½ inch pieces
Salt and pepper
5 Tablespoons butter divided
8 Ounces white mushrooms sliced
!/2 cup Champagne or Prosecco
3 Cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ Cup flour
1 leek cleaned and sliced, white part only
1/4 Cup thinly sliced celery
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano
8 puff pastry shells pre-cooked or puff pastry squares pre cooked.


Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Ready a sauce pan.

In a separate pan bring water to simmer and poach chicken until done and tender about 3-5 minutes.

Remove the chicken to sauce pan with slotted spoon and add 1 tablespoon butter.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to a sauté pan.

When the butter begins to foam and slightly brown, add the mushrooms.

Sauté for 5-7 minutes then pour over chicken.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to sauté pan; cook leeks and celery over low heat until tender.

Pour leeks and butter over chicken and mushrooms.

Add ½ cup champagne or prosecco to the sauté pan and reduce by ½.

Add chicken stock, thyme and oregano to prosecco and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl whisk ½ cup cold water and flour to make a paste.

Add ½ cup stock form sauté pan and whisk until smooth.

Add another ½ cup stock and whisk.

Pour back into stock, straining if necessary to remove any tiny lumps.

Whisk together the Dijon mustard, cream, salt and pepper to taste and pour into chicken stock.

Whisk together while it thickens.

Bring to a boil and then pour over chicken.

Ladle chicken and sauce onto plate and add the puff pastry.

Serve immediately.

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