A flight with the wind (vol-au-vent)

A dodgy title you say? Well I can’t help it, its merely the translation of today’s recipe: vol-au-vent.Vol-au-vent is a classic from the French cuisine and could not be missing from this blog. The dish consists of a small hollow case of puff pastry with a round opening on top, through which a savory filling is added. In this case, the filling is the classic chicken and mushroom filling. This isn’t something you’d make every day, its just to much work for just that. But it is quite nice to make when you have a bit more time on your hands or when you want to treat your friends or family to something a bit more special. If you’re worried about making puff pastry cases, then don’t. You can buy the cases pre made in most supermarkets and all the cool kids (the cool kids being me) are doing it! 😉

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 liter chicken stock (you can use water mixed with stock cubes)
  • 1 leek
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • souple of sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 250 g minced meat
  • 500 g mushrooms, sliced
  • some parsley, finely chopped

for the sauce:

  • 75 g butter
  • 75 g flower
  • 1/4 liter milk
  • 3/4 liter of the chicken broth

to thicken the sauce:

  • 100 ml cream
  • 3 egg yolks


  • Cut the leek, celery, onion and carrot into big chunks, add stock and bring to a boil.
  • Season with peper and salt to taste, then add the chicken.
  • Depending on the chicken, let simmer for 90 to 120 minutes. When the wings and thighs of the chicken fall of quite easily, it’s ready.
  • While your waiting, roll out your minced meat into about equally sized meat balls and coat them with a layer of flower. When the chicken is almost ready, boil the meat balls separately in some of the liquid.
  • Drain the chicken and vegetables (save the stock!) and remove the meat from the chicken.
  • Start making your sauce. Much like a bechamel, melt the butter and add the flower. Use the milk and cooking liquid to create your sauce.
  • Add the chicken meat, mushrooms and meatballs.
  • Before serving, add your parsley and your egg yolk and cream mixture. Give it a final stirr
  • Serve in a puff pastry casing with french fries (even though they’re actually belgian fries, but you can always call them freedom fries, of course) and a light salad.

Check out the slideshow for step by step instructions!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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2 Responses to A flight with the wind (vol-au-vent)

  1. Hannelore says:

    Looks really good! Keep up the good work!;) Stupid question…but would it be possible to replace the puff pastry with something else, less greasy? One puff pastry can contain up to 500 calories and that’s a bit much =p Thanks!^^

    • Attila says:

      Aah yes the calories :p I can’t really imagine that there is a “light” version of puff pastry, but that does make it a challenge for me to try and create one, someday :p
      I am however, and will always be a firm believer that having a little slip up now and then isn’t such a big fuss. I did check my box of store-bought puff pastries, and it appears that 1 pastry shell contains 131 calories so I don’t think it’s a real drama for once in a while 😉 if you would like to mind your calories, you could substitute the french fries by oven baked fries (perhaps a blog-worthy topic for an upcoming post!) and/or just leave out the puff pastry and stick to the filling alone 😉

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