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An easy recipe that combines puff-pastry cases, to be filled with your poultry leftovers from any holiday meal and a home-made béchamel sauce, to become an impressive starter to a meal or to be served by two VOL-AU-VENT per guest with a salad as a main meal.

This version combines poultry, regular or wild mushrooms, some extras for aromatics and a béchamel sauce made with chicken as well as mushroom stock, for extra flavor. 

Mushroom stock is easy to make if you have mixed dried mushrooms that you can soak in hot water but if you plan on using regular fresh mushrooms, then simply boil all of the chopped mushroom stems in double their volume in water and a pinch of salt and it’ll be just fine. 

And if you’re feeling creative, then make a combination chicken bones (that you’ve broken up) and mushroom stems stock with just a bit of onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper and a teaspoon of vinegar, for an even less wasteful approach on how to use leftovers to create a new meal.

The only question is will you buy the vol-au-vent puff-pastry cases beforehand and have handy in your pantry when you need them or will you make them yourself ? That’s up to you, no judgement here, especially if you’ve just organized a huge meal and you just want to deal with the leftovers as easily as possible. I get it ! As I’ve said before, vol-au-vent puff-pastry cases are tastier when home-made and less dry so if you have the courage, see the recipe here and adapt it to what you need.

For this recipe, the finished creamy filling should be equal to 3 cups, for 6 large vol-au-vent, thus ½ cup per puff-pastry case, but you can also make 12 smaller versions that require only ¼ cup filling each.

You can adjust the béchamel white or beige sauce to what ingredients you have. You can use more milk or even some light cream and simply adjust it to how much chicken and/or mushroom stock you have around.

Anyways, winter is slowly creeping up on us, here in Paris and it’s quite nice and I can smell it in the air even though most leaves are still on the trees. This also implies that I’m obviously impatient to get some winter holiday decorations put up, but I’ll wait until December 1st … :)

chicken & wild mushrooms vol-au-vent starters


6 x 135 grams each


vol-au-vents puff-pastry cases :

chicken & mushroom mixture (300 grams or 2 ½ cups) :

  • 175 grams (1 ¾ cups) pre-roasted chicken meat, shredded
  • 100 grams (1 cup) hydrated wild mushrooms (from 35 grams or ¼ cup dried mushrooms and soaked in 125 ml boiled water)
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) shallots or leek, diced
  • optional : 10 grams (1 tbsp) carrot, grated
  • optional : 10 grams (1 tbsp) celery, grated
  • 10 grams (2 ½ tsp) garlic, crushed
  • 55 grams (4 tbsp) butter
  • 5 grams (2 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 10 grams (2 tsp) old-fashioned mustard
  • 5 grams (1 tsp) salt
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) ground black pepper

béchamel sauce (1 ¼ cups or 300 grams) :

  • 22 grams (1 ½ tbsp) butter
  • 12 grams (1 ½ tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 125 ml (½ cup) chicken & vegetable stock
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) mushroom water
  • 125 ml (½ cup) whole milk (or ¼ cup light cream and ¼ cup more mushroom stock, if you have it)
  • 15 grams (1 medium) egg yolk
  • 5 grams (1 tsp) salt
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) ground black pepper

extra accompaniments :

  • small mixed salad leaves (with a light dressing)
  • fresh-flat-leaf parsley
  • lemon slices


  • rehydrate the dried mushrooms in boiled water that you will let steep and cool down for 45-60 minutes, then strain and save the mushroom water, shred or pull the chicken leftovers apart and prepare the rest of the ingredients for the chicken and mushroom filling 
  • melt the butter in a frying pan, cook the sliced onions at medium-high heat for several minutes until translucent, the add the garlic, the grated carrots and celery and finally the mushrooms and chicken and cook for several more minutes, add the fresh herbs, spices, salt and mustard, mix and set aside
  • prepare the béchamel by melting the butter at medium-high heat until almost browned, then whisk in the flour until bubbly and then add the liquids and keep continuously whisking for several minutes until thickened, then add the salt, pepper and egg yolk, whisk well again until smooth and set aside
  • preheat the oven to 180°C
  • remove the caps of the puff-pastry cases with a sharp knife and set aside
  • when ready, combine the chicken and mushroom mixture with the béchamel sauce and heat up gently at medium heat for a few minutes and transfer ½ cup of the mixture to the puff-pastry cases, add the puff-pastry caps on top and warm them up on a baking sheet in the oven for for 10 minutes until ready to serve them
  • *note : if using store-bought puff-pastry cases, it is a good idea is to spray them with water and then to brush them with melted butter and to preheat them in the oven for 5 minutes before filling them to make them less dry …
  • serve the warmed chicken & mushroom vol-au-vents with some salad leaves, parsley and a slice of lemon.