Left over chicken recipes #1 : chicken vol au vents

I can’t take credit for this easy little recipe…it has to go to my mum Lyn who I learnt so much from sitting at our big kitchen table watching her prepare our family meals at the aga. She always bought (and still does) eggs from Audrey down the road. When she had 4 children at home, she used to buy sacks of potatoes from Audrey too. She sometimes said how hard she found it to keep coming up with new dishes for the family – that everyone would like. Of course it’s taken til now for me to truly empathise.

This is a great light tea to use up left over chicken, gravy and veg.

I make my gravy from scratch. Ready made gravy powder often have MSG added – an additive that’s not suitable for children under 3 and also one that can cause adverse reactions in some children. Personally I prefer to avoid additives as much as possible.

Chicken gravy
Pour off all the juices from the chicken into a measuring jug.
Skim off the oil from the top.
If you have 100ml chicken juices you need to make the stock up to say, 500ml.
Add an organic chickenstock cube dissolve into the chicken juices and add enough boiling water to make it up to 500ml.
(I usually make ours up to 300ml which gives enough for three people with left over gravy. If you are making it up to 300ml then use half the stock cube so it’s not too salty).
Melt butter in a frying pan.
Once melted add flour and mix thoroughly and cook through for a couple of minutes.
If you are using 500ml of stock you use 50g butter and 40g flour, if you are using 300ml stock you use 30g butter and 25g flour.
Gradually add the stock a bit at a time until its all added.
Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes before pouring into a warmed gravy boat.

Chicken vol au vents

Cook the vol au vents according to instructions. I gave my daughter 2 for a light tea
Prepare the chicken – chop into bit size chunks.
Prepare any left over veg – I used carrots, peas and sweetcorn (green beans and broccoli and others would work just as well).
If you don’t have enough left over veg, prepare some uncooked veg.
Dice a small onion.
In a pan cook the onion (and any raw vegetables) in olive oil until softened.
Add the chicken and left over vegetables, stir through and then add some of your gravy – you want just enough to coat the mixture like a sauce – you don’t want it too runny. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.

Once the vol au vents are ready, fill them with the chicken mixture and serve with veg, etc.

I often buy my chickens from Owls Barn Farm shop where they give you the giblets too. These are great for making chicken stock. You put the giblets in a big pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 carrots, 1 onion, 2 leeks and fresh herbs like thyme and parsley, though if you only have dried then use dried, and 3 pepper corns. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for two hours. Skim off and oil from the top. After 2 hours strain through a sieve, squeezing as much stock as you can out of the vegetables.

You can also use the same method to make chicken stock using your cooked chicken carcass.


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