If there is any meal guaranteed to require you to clean the remaining sauce with your fingers it’s a good creamy vol au vent dinner. Vol au vents do not belong back in the seventies and remain one of the most popular starters at weddings here in Limerick and are a firm favourite in this house. For anyone starting the year on a health kick yes there is a pastry case but if you use creme fraiche instead of full fat cream you can make this a regular family meal. The best part of this recipe is that the chicken and sauce work really well served on its own with rice, potatoes or even as a pie filling so there are lots of ways to serve this delicious sauce. For an extra special serving you could add a splash of white wine to the sauce but this is a family friendly recipe so is alcohol free.
Chicken Oyster thighs ( two per adult, one per child)
Smoked rashers (6)
Punnet of mushrooms – I use a mix of white and chestnut mushrooms to give it an extra woodiness
1/2 an onion
1 garlic clove
2 litres of chicken stock
1 tub of low-fat creme fraiche
Italian herbs seasoning
Vol au vent cases
Poach your oyster thighs in chicken stock for approx one hour or until chicken is cooked through. You can also roast the thighs but poaching gives an extra juiciness to the chicken.
Bake your rashers and when cooked chop them up into bite size pieces
Add the vol au vents to a pre-heated oven ( I use frozen cases ) brush a little whisked egg to the top before putting them into the oven and cook according to instruction.
Chop your mushrooms and fry them off with the chopped onion, a tablespoon of italian herbs and the garlic clove. When this mix starts to turn soft and brown add the chicken stock and let it simmer away for approximately twenty minutes or until the liquid has reduced by fifty percent. At this stage turn the heat right down and slowly add in your creme fraiche, its important not to let this boil to avoid splitting. Let the liquid simmer away for a few minutes and then with a hand blender blitz the sauce.(be careful of the hot liquid!) I remove some mushrooms prior to this and re-add them back to the mix once the sauce is blitzed .
Add your chicken and rashers to the sauce and ladle into the vol au vents. Serve with mash potato, home-made chunky chips or vegetables of your choice. Perfect for a cold January evening, I hope you enjoy xx