A vol-au-vent is a small, hollow puff pastry casing that can be filled with a variety of sweet and savoury ingredients. We’ve paired ours with a tarragon chicken mixture and topped with finely diced capsicum and a sprig of chervil. The chicken mixture will keep for one week in an airtight container in the fridge and the vol-au-vent cases can be made up to one week ahead.
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk
- 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion, halved
- 90 g butter, chopped
- 35 g (¼ cup) plain flour, plus extra, to dust
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup tarragon leaves, chopped
- 160 g (1 cup) finely chopped cooked chicken
- 375 g block frozen puff pastry, thawed (see note)
- 1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 tsp water, to glaze
- ½ red capsicum, cut into fine dice
- chervil sprigs, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 30 minutes
Standing time 10 minutes
You will need a 4.5 cm and a 2 cm round cutter.
Place milk, stock, garlic and onion in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Keep warm.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until flour is light golden. Remove from heat, stir in mustard and tarragon, then gradually whisk in infused milk mixture until smooth. Return pan over high heat and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in chicken, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap until needed.
Roll out pastry until 5 mm thick. Using a 4.5 cm round cutter dusted with flour, cut out 48 rounds. Using a 2 cm round cutter dusted with flour, cut out the centre of 24 of the rounds and discard trimmings or reserve for another use. Place the whole rounds on 2 oven trays lined with baking paper and brush with egg yolk mixture. Top with the remaining rounds with the centres removed, then brush with egg yolk mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until glaze has dried and pastry is cold to touch.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 190°C. Brush vol-au-vent cases with remaining egg yolk mixture and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Warm tarragon chicken mixture, if necessary, then spoon into the vol-au-vent cases. Top with a little capsicum and the chervil sprigs, and season with pepper. Serve vol-au-vents immediately.
• Alternatively, place three piles, each comprising two ready-rolled puff pastry sheets on a benchtop and press lightly with a rolling pin to seal.
• The chicken mixture will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.
• Vol-au-vent cases can be made up to 1 week ahead.
As seen in Feast magazine, Mar 2012, Issue 7. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.
Photography by Brett Stevens.