Chicken Vol au Vents is a quick and easy recipe where cooked puff pastry shells are filled with tender chicken cooked in a savory gravy. It only takes 30 minutes to prepare from start to yummy finish and makes delicious leftovers.
French for “windblown,” a vol au vent is a small, hollow case of puff pastry, with the top cut out to allow for a filling.
I started making this years ago from a recipe in a Disney cookbook. Through the years, I’ve refined the recipe to what it is today.
Chicken vol au vents is one of our favorite recipes when I need something quick and easy to prepare without sacrificing the flavor.
You probably have most of the ingredients for this delicious recipe on hand.
- The Chicken: I like to use skinless and boneless chicken breasts sautéed in some butter for this recipe.
- The Savory Sauce: For the sauce, I use low sodium chicken broth flavored with Madeira and Worcestershire sauce.
- The Thickeners: To thicken the sauce, I use a combination of all-purpose flour and Bisto.
Bisto is British meat-flavored gravy powder that is perfect for thickening gravy. I use it all the time. If your local supermarket has an international food section, look in the British section because you just might find it there. If you don’t have Bisto, however, you can use cornstarch instead.
- The Seasonings: The seasonings for this recipe are simple – Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
How I Made the Recipe
This is a quick and simple recipe to prepare.
- I started by cutting two chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes.
- Next, I made the basic sauce by combining the chicken broth, Madeira, Worcestershire sauce and Bisto in a measuring cut. Once the sauce was made, I set it aside.
- Next, I sautéd the chicken in melted butter for 7 or 8 minutes. When all of the pink had disappeared from the chicken, I added the flour, salt, and pepper, and stirred to combine everything. I cooked this mixture for a minute or so.
- Then, I added the chicken broth mixture to the chicken, and heated the chicken over medium heat until it was bubbly and thickened, stirring constantly.
- I lowered the heat to low, and let the chicken mixture continue to cook while I prepared the puff pastry shells according to the package directions.
Generally, I serve Chicken Vol-au-vents with mashed potatoes, and some sort of vegetable. Tonight, the vegetable of choice was mushy peas. Also, I spooned some of the chicken mixture on the mashed potatoes. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes, it’s difficult to find puff pastry shells. The chicken mixture is delicious just served over mashed potatoes or rice if you can’t find the puff pastry shells.
I like to add a small amount of Madeira or sherry to the sauce for the enhancement of flavor. You can, however, omit the alcohol. However, the sauce will not be quite as flavorful.
Feel free to substitute dry Marsala or dry sherry for the Madeira.
The Bisto is used to thicken and flavor the sauce. If you can’t find Bisto, you can use cornstarch to thicken the sauce. The Bisto contains salt, so you will need to adjust the salt content if you use cornstarch.
For delicious recipes using using puff pastry shells check these recipes:
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- 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth (See Tip 1)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Madeira or dry sherry (See Tip 2)
- 4 teaspoons Bisto (See Tip 3)
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 puff pastry shells
- Optional: Chopped green onions for garnish.
- Preheat oven to 425° F.
- Combine chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, Madeira and Bisto in a bowl or measuring cup; mix well. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a heavy saucepan. Sauté chicken 7 to 8 minutes over medium heat, or until all pink is gone. Add flour, salt and pepper; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add chicken broth mixture slowly. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook puff pastry shells according to package directions – around 20 minutes at 425° F – until puffed and golden brown. During the last five minutes of cooking, remove the small top circle to allow for browning of the interior.
- Divide chicken evenly among 4 pastry shells and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.
- Yield: 4 servings.
Chula’s Expert Tips
- Regular chicken broth can be used in this recipe.
- Can omit the Madeira or sherry. However, the sauce will not be quite as flavorful.
- Bisto is a British meat-flavored gravy powder. If Bisto is unavailable, cornstarch can be substituted.