Get ready to have your mind blown because I am NOT making waffles this week.
There’s a couple of reasons for this, namely my waffle iron isn’t suitable to the task or making authentic Liege style Belgian waffles and I’m not about to go out and buy a new one. If you haven’t had a Liege style Belgian waffle, remedy that ASAP. For a explanation of the difference between Liege and Brussels styles, The Hostel Girl has a good rundown.
Instead I will be making a Flemish dish that I can best summarize as, “it’s like a really fancy chicken Philly,” or, “think a chicken pot pie, but take out all the vegetables and replace them with more meat.” You can even keep the potato if you want in the form of French Fries (frites). Vol-Au-Vent is a delightful flaky pastry tower of savory. Filled with two meats (or more if you’re feeling plucky). Hell. Yes.
There is a vegan prep if you’re not into the above. I’ll be basing my prep on a decidedly NOT vegan recipe from the Visit Flanders site.
LET’S DO THIS:
- a whole chicken, about 5 pounds
- 1/4 pound ground beef (or mixed ground beef and pork)
- 1 tsp breadcrumbs
- about 1/2 cup grated cheese (Belgian cheeses tend to have a pretty strong profile, but pick what you like)
- 1-2 cups of sliced mushrooms
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- a carton of vegetable stock
- 1 egg yolk (you may use the white in the meatball if desired)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- juice of 1 lemon
- package of puff pastry OR prepared puff pastry batters
- salt, pepper, and parsley to taste
- optional: French fries/frites or rice
Prep time on this for me was 15 minutes (18:10 to 18:25), you time will vary. You’ll need a deep pan or dutch oven and a boiling pot to complete this prep and optionally, a muffin tin.
Here’s what you’re going to do:
- Make small meatballs using the ground beef, breadcrumbs, and optional egg white. Boil them in part of the stock, remove from the boil, and set aside. Do not toss the stock.
- Add the remaining stock and boil the chicken until done and tender, roughly 60-90 minutes. You may need to add some water to cover the chicken. Do NOT toss the stock after.
- While your chicken is boiling, prepare your puff pastries. You’re going to turn them into little puff bowls with lids, either by cutting and layering them to make batters or by making bowls from an inverted muffin tin. If you’re using pre-prepped batters, skip this.
- If you are serving with rice, prep and cook while your chicken boils
- While your chicken is boiling, fry the mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of butter with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
- When the chicken is done, allow to cool slightly and remove the meat from the bones. Set aside about 1.5 cups of meat and 2 cups of the stock.
- If you are serving with frites, make them while you prepare the sauce.
- Prepare the sauce by whisking the flour into the cooled stock, then heating on low heat the mixture along with the 4 remaining tablespoons of butter and the cream. Whisk in the egg yolk, lemon juice, and parsley.
- Add the mushrooms, meatballs, cheese, and chicken, simmer on low heat.
- While the sauce simmers, lightly toast the batters/prepared puff pastries so they are hot.
- Fill your puff pastries with sauce. You may optionally serve with fries (frites) or rice.
That’s it! Total time was 2 hours, 20 minutes (18:10 to 20:30).