Breaking Bread: Bouchee’ a la Reine (Queen’s bite)
Breaking Bread: Bouchee’ a la Reine (Queen’s Bite)
Bouchee’ a la Reine (Queen’s bite)
Bouchee’ a la Reine is a classic vol-au-vent (windblown bite) French pastry item. It was given a queen’s name because some people in the Middle Ages could neither afford chicken breasts nor the spices that went with it.
4 chicken breasts
4 sheets puff pastry
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots (medium-sized)
12 mushrooms (small or medium, sliced)
4 carrots (large, minced)
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. oregano
1 egg, beaten
12 oz. chicken stock
1 Tbsp. flour
4 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 14.5-oz. can cut green beans
1 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. each, lemon and orange zest
Sauce: Bring chicken broth to a boil; add chicken. Cook approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Boil green beans in broth for approximately 4 minutes, then set aside. In a sauté pan, combine olive oil and butter; add minced shallots and carrots, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and dice into small sections. Set aside. Add all the broth to the sauté pan and stir on low heat. Then add heavy cream, salt, pepper, green beans, lemon juice and zest. Set aside.
Puff Pastry: Shape the puff pastry into the shape you prefer; i.e., butterflies, hearts, etc. The classical way is to make small circles. Each pastry shape is 3 layers so you will need to build one shape onto another until you have 3 layers. Brush some water on the first layer of every shape before you add the second layer. Brush the second layer with beaten egg. When adding the third layer, make sure you have a small hole in the center and then brush it with beaten egg.
Final Preparation: Preheat oven to 380˚F. and bake pastry for approximately 10 to 12 minutes – until pastry rises and is golden brown. Remove from oven and make a small hole in the middle of every Bouchee’ a la Reine with your finger. Fill the pastry shapes with the sauce and serve immediately. Bon appetite!