I need to end this challenge soon because for the third in a row I wanna scream “I LOVE THIS RECIPE, GODDAMNIT LADURÉE!!!” This week’s recipes are spoiling me; I’m going to end up wanting to make French food every day of my life and ain’t nobody got time for that!
The recipe of the day, which I’ve been wanting to make ever since I opened this book for the first time.
Vol-au-vent de volaille aux champignons sauvages or Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-Vent.
This is the stuff French dreams are made of. The flaky pastry, the fancy mushrooms, the sauciness of it… I was basically sure I was going to screw it up somehow.
Let’s see if I did.
- Fresh mushrooms
- Chicken breast
- Vol-au-vent shells (flaky pastry shells)
- Crystal salt
Not pictured: butter.
As time goes on in this challenge, I become less and less bothered by the substitutions life forces me to make. They can’t be helped; I’m not in France and thus can’t access all the specific ingredients the recipes require. I still think I’m doing a pretty good job by going for same similar flavors and textures, but who knows.
On this round I replaced dried morel and porcini mushrooms for fresh ones, partly because they’re impossible to find, partly because dried mushrooms smell like cat food. We lost the Wild aspect to the mushrooms, but we gained will to live, so *shrug*.
Crème fraîche was similarly impossible to acquire and the recipe for it made me gag, so I used the tangy mascarpone cheese.
Total cooking time: 20 minutes.
Servings: I filled 6 vol-au-vent shells and still had plenty of leftover filling for another family meal.
I swear, despite looking fancy as all hell, this recipe is basically idiot proof (my favorite kind!). I’m not joking, I think even some of my “I can burn water” friends would be able to do it.
(Maybe not; I do have a friend that thinks stirring is advanced cooking. I really wanna have her over to test my theory out, now.)
I thoroughly washed the mushrooms, thinly sliced them and cooked them until they were almost done. (Even though I’ve cooked mushrooms literally dozens of times, I’m always surprised how much the suckers shrink.) Then I added the mascarpone, parsley and a bit of salt, giving the whole thing a good mix until the cheese was fully incorporated.
Ladurée and I will never agree on how to fry chicken: they cook the chicken breasts and then slice them, I much prefer to slice and then cook, which is what I did. The risk of drying the meat, but the toastyness of the meat is worth it.
After heating the vol-au-vents in the oven for a couple of minutes, I mixed the chicken and mushrooms and added careful scoops of it to the shells. Decorated with parsley. Done!
(Note: I skipped a ridiculously elaborate DECORATIVE sauce that Ladurée suggested. My new personal rule is that if I’m not eating it, I’m not doing it. It’s a waste of resources.)
This is my favorite Ladurée dish. Ever.
*Kill Bill siren blares in the background*
I’m not employing these words lightly. I’ve eaten plenty of lovely things since I started making the Ladurée Savory recipes, but this one… Is perfect. The mushroom/chicken/cheese combo is rich and creamy, and the soft textures against the crispiness of the vol-au-vent…
It’s perfect. I’m in love. I want to eat this every day of my life.
*shakes first to the sky* Damn you Ladurée!
Also, yes, this functions better as a light dinner than yesterday’s croissant. It can also be lunch, brunch, supper, snack… This is the polyvalent dish to dethrone them all!
Level of difficulty: 3 out of 10, for those who can’t cut things properly?
Level of yumminess: 15 out of 10.
The last dinner! Can it top today’s? (It can’t.) We’ll see!