When I was a child, I would regularly ask my parents for chicken vol au vents for dinner. I can’t explain why I was such a fan, but there must have been some reason behind it! Anyway, I eventually moved on to other dinner requests, but even now, when I very occasionally see it on a menu it always brings back strong memories. So when I had a Saturday night at home, and my mum had thoughtfully bought vol au vent shells and chicken fillets, my sister and I decided to have a go at recreating my childhood favourite.
What you’ll need:
- 4 vol au vent cases
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 450g chicken thigh fillets (trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
- 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 100g mushrooms, chopped
- 100g bacon, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1/2 cup cream
- 3 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon (heaped) powdered chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons chives, chopped
- Salt and pepper to season
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Place vol au vent cases on a lined baking tray and bake for 6-8 minutes until crisp.
2. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over moderate heat and add onion and garlic. Stir for two minutes until softened, then add chicken pieces, mushrooms, bacon and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is browned.
3. Add liquid and powdered chicken stock to the pan and continue to stir.
- A tip my father taught me when using cornflour for thickening is to dissolve the cornflour in a little bit of water and stir with a fork until the mixture is smooth with no lumps before you add it to a sauce.
- You may need to adjust the amount of chicken stock you add to the pan and mustard you put in the sauce, depending on taste.