Stay warm and cosy with a bowl of creamy veloute

Chicken Veloute
Chicken Veloute
Youll need to leave your mincemeat for at least one week before filling your pies

LAWRENCE MURPHY: Get preparing your festive treats with time to mature

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I live by certain rules in the restaurant and one of them is controlling wastage, so this week we’ll be using the carcass from the roast chicken recipe I showed you last week.

I make sure that everything in my restaurant is used up if it can be, and recycling bones to make sauces and soups is a good habit.

So, with that in mind, I am going to show you a recipe for a chicken veloute. A veloute is, simply, a stock that is finished with cream or butter. This not only thickens the stock to a soup-like consistency but brings a lovely viscosity on the palette. It is a perfect winter warmer as the temperature has become rather bracing in the past few days.

I find that chicken soup is something that has been rather outcast as a meal that you have when you are ill. But I don’t think it would be out of place as a starter at a dinner party, especially with Stilton rarebit and garnished with some vegetables, like I have done in the picture.

The added rarebit is a touch of indulgence and once the Stilton, or whatever cheese you choose, starts to melt into the soup you get pockets of cheese that just melt in the mouth.

The vegetables will add a nice crunch so, hopefully, every mouthful will tell a different story. Then there is nothing better than mopping up the remains with some lovely freshly-baked bread.

In the following weeks, I will show you some more comforting dishes that will keep you warm.

· Kevin Bingham is the chef patron of Restaurant 27 in Southsea. Call (023) 9287 6272.

CHICKEN VELOUTE

Equipment:

Two saucepans – one large and one medium

A fine sieve

Ladle

Chopping board

Knife

Serving bowl

Baking tray

Ingredients:

Chicken carcass

One litre of chicken bouillon (stock cube and hot water is fine)

Two carrots peeled and roughly chopped

One onion peeled and roughly chopped

One small leek washed and roughly chopped

½ pint whipping cream

One crouton per person

Crumbled Stilton

½ oz butter

Chargrilled vegetables

Seasoning

Method:

Put the carcass into a large saucepan with the vegetables and the bouillon.

Cook for approximately 45-50 minutes on a moderate heat, letting it reduce by half.

Once reduced, pass through the sieve into the medium saucepan and then add the cream and butter.

Cook until you reach a soup-like consistency, and add a little cornflour if it needs be to thickened.

For the Stilton rarebit, take your croutons (recipe from the canapes we did right at the start) and once browned on both sides put some of the Stilton on top and put to one side.

Meanwhile, take the chargrilled vegetables and place on a baking tray.

Put the rarebit on the same tray and grill until cheese has started to bubble and the vegetables are warmed through.

Take your serving bowl and pour the soup into it. Place your rarebit in the middle of the soup and top with the chargrilled vegetables.