Saturday, 6 October 2012

Vol-Au-Vent: Creamy Chicken and Avocado

Ah! Finally back with another post. It was crazy here for the last 4 weeks with the children falling sick and not attending school and then preparing for our Onam Celebrations with friends, which we always celebrate at least a month late. Now all done and packed, I hope to get back on track; with work, cooking, home works and activities. Before anything else, I wanted to get done with a post. So when some of my friends came over for dinner on Friday, I decided to make best of the opportunity with something simple - Vol-Au-Vents with a Creamy Chicken and Avocado filling.

Vol-Au-Vent (pronounced Vohlohva) is a small hollow case of puff pastry; a French delicacy and translates into "flight of the wind" that shows the lightness of the pastry. Traditionally it is served with a creamy filling of chicken, seafood or veal; but nowadays you can use just about anything as a filling and it can be served as an appetizer or dessert. 

To get your hands into French cuisine needs a lot of time, patience and skill. It is said that the French have a great respect for food and they spend an amazing amount of time thinking about it and preparing it. Well! It is not in vain; croissants, baguettes, macarons, truffles, canapes - you can just not stop at one!

Now, I wasn't daring enough to bake the Vol-Au-Vent cases from scratch. Lazy me finds the ready-made cases available in the supermarket convenient enough. The filling prepared with chicken, avocado, onion, celery, capsicum and corn with a creamy aioli and yoghurt dressing is so nutritious that you will be happy to see your guests, especially your children coming back for more. The french-style wholegrain mustard gives a surprising bite to the dressing that without it the dressing will be quite bland. The same filling can be used as a sandwich filling in your kids lunch-box; so you can't blame yourself for making some extra.
Makes: 28
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes + time to cook chicken

  • 28 ready-made Vol-Au-Vent cases, medium size
  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast, diced (I use chicken breast from roast chicken)
  • 1 ripe hass avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red capsicum, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup garlic aioli
  • 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain french mustard
  • salt to taste
1. Cook corn kernels in a pan for a few minutes. Mix all ingredients together and keep aside.
2. Preheat fan-forced oven to 180°C. Bake Vol-Au-Vent cases for 12-15 minutes or until the cases become light and crispy. Fill cases with filling and serve immediately.

- The filling can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Keep it at room temperature at least an hour before serving.
- Do not fill Vol-Au-Vent cases ahead of time as this could make the cases soggy.

Here is how I used the filling to serve in a sandwich for my kids' lunch-box.
Sending this to the event SYF and HWS - Mustard Seeds event hosted by myspicykitchen and anuzhealthykitchen.