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donderdag 30 augustus 2012

Vol-au-vent with chips, all homemade!

This is a classic dish. Very few restaurants don't serve this and I don't know anyone who doesn't like the taste.

When we were a lot smaller and I didn't cook yet, we never had this homemade. we always bought it in the shop, in these vacuum-sealed packages out of the freezer. The substance was thick and jelly-like. We liked it just because we didn't know anything else. 
It was only about 8 years ago, when I first took the challenge to prepare it all by myself, that I wondered why we never did that before ... 
Since that day, I always prepared it and I haven't heard any complaint. Haha!

This is a little more elaborate, but when you're having vacation, you don't really mind about having a little more to do in the kitchen. Besides, my sister has to be spoiled as she has to get through resits this month. 

Ingredients for 4:
- 4-6 chicken drumsticks
- 400 grams minced chicken
- 1 egg
- breadcrumbs
- pepper and salt to taste
- 2 litres of water
- carrots, leek, celery for the stock 
- bouquet garni (bay leaves/thyme/rosemary)
- spoonful of pepper corns
- 250 grams mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- butter
- flour
- 100 ml milk
- parsley for serving

Along with chips (homemade) and puff pastry cups.

How to:
Cut the carrots, leeks and celery in large chunks. Add them to the water, the bouquet garni and the pepper corns. Put on the fire. Once the water has come to a boil, put the chicken in. Let it all simmer on medium heat for at least 45 minutes or until the meat comes easily off the bones.

Take the chicken out but don't pour away the stock, you'll be needing it later on. When they've cooled down enough, you can tear off the meat (throw away the bones, but I tend to make our dog really happy with the skins of the chicken when making this!).

Mix the egg, salt, pepper and enough breadcrumbs to get an easy to handle mixture, to the minced chicken. Make small balls with this. The smaller they are, the longer it takes to roll them, but the result will be tastier looking.
Boil the meatballs in the chicken stock. Once they come to float, they're ready. Take them out of the stock and keep aside.
Now make the sauce: Melt a spoonful of butter in another pot and add the same amount of flour to it. Stir continuously as this mixture easily sticks. Now pour in the milk. keep stirring quickly, b├ęchamel sauce binds very quickly!
Pour in a ladle of the chicken stock (only the liquid, no chunks) in the pot. Stir again. When the sauce begins to thicken, add some more stock. You should have about half to 3/4 of a litre of sauce in the end (approximately, no scientifically proven measurement!).

Now you can spice up the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
You can add the sliced mushrooms, the meatballs and chicken meat also. Stir carefully and set aside. This is much better prepared a few hours in advance, the taste gets much better.

What with the left over stock? Don't throw it away yet! It's really good for soup. I made tomato soup with it for example:

To serve, you bake off the puff pastry cups and fill them with the sauce. Decorate with a little cut up parsley.

Make homemade chips and a salad, and you're ready to dig in!


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