Chicken, bacon and mushroom vol-au-vents

Vol-au-vents.
Vol-au-vents. Photo: Supplied

You can use 4 large (8 cm) ready-made vol-au-vent cases.

Ingredients

3 square 24cm sheets ready-made puff pastry

1 egg, lightly whisked with 2 tsp water

225g skinless chicken breast fillet

375ml (1½ cups) chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1 thyme sprig

1 tbsp olive oil

75g lean bacon, chopped

100g  button mushrooms, sliced

2 small garlic cloves, crushed

1 French shallot, finely chopped

60ml (¼ cup) white wine

2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch), mixed with 60ml (¼ cup) water

60ml (¼ cup) pouring cream

Thinly sliced spring onion, to garnish

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

2. Use a round 9cm pastry cutter to cut out 12 rounds. Place 4 rounds on a lined tray and use a round 6cm cutter to mark a small round in the centre of each, without cutting through. These are the bases.

3. Place the remaining pastry rounds on the other lined tray and use the smaller cutter to cut out the centre of each to make rings of an even thickness.

4. Brush the outer ring of each pastry base with egg wash, taking care not to brush the sides or the pastry won't rise properly. Carefully place a pastry ring on top of a pastry base. Brush the top of the ring with egg wash and place another ring on top. Repeat with the remaining bases, egg wash and rings. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until well chilled. Brush the top ring of each pastry with egg wash, avoiding the sides.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden. Remove any uncooked pastry from the centre and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the bases are golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack.

6. Place the chicken and stock in a small saucepan. If the chicken isn't covered, add a little extra stock or water. Add the bay leaf and thyme and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and reserve the cooking liquid. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken and place in a medium bowl.

7. Heat the oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring, for a further 3 minutes. Add the shallot, season well and then mix into the chicken. Return the pan to the heat, add the wine and cook until reduced by half, then add the reserved cooking liquid. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the cornflour mixture and cream and stir until thickened. Remove the herbs. Add the chicken mixture and heat through. Season to taste. Spoon into the pastry cases and serve warm, sprinkled with spring onion.