Thursday, 8 March 2012

Coronation Chicken Tartlets, or Voluvents, If You Will

To mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June this year, I wanted to make something that could be whisked out to street parties and that was also fairly traditional. I love Coronation Chicken, which was invented to mark the Queen's coronation in 1952, so it seemed perfect.

What I thought I was making was puff pastry tartlets, but what they turned out to be is stubby little voluvents. I remember at every wedding/christening/Christmas party in the 1980s there were always loads of them, all lined up with mushroom, prawn cocktail and cheesy fillings. And I've kind of missed them.

The coronation chicken sauce is quite fruity, on account of the mango chutney in there, and I've made them taste lighter by using natural yoghurt as well as mayonnaise. They're also a great way for using up leftover roast chicken.



If you tried, you could get them down in one bite. But that wouldn't be very elegant for a garden party or street party in the summer. Down them in two and swiftly move on to the next, that's what I would do. I hope you enjoy.

Coronation Chicken Voluvents
Makes 12-14

Ingredients
  • 1 x 500g block of puff pastry
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • About 350g cooked, roast chicken, cooled
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp mango chutney
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise (I used Hellman's)
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • coriander leaves, to garnish
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the puff pastry to about half a centimetre thick. Using a circular cutter, stamp out rounds from the pastry in quick, decisive movements. Try not to twist the cutter into the pastry, or your cases might rise a bit wonky. I used a 6cm serrated cutter that I usually use for scones. Re-roll any scraps of pastry until it's all used up.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the garam masala, mango chutney, mayonnaise, natural yoghurt and salt and chop the chicken into small chunks. Mix the sauce and chicken together until the chicken is lightly coated.
  3. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and gently place your pastry circles on it, leaving a little gap between each to allow for rising. With a sharp knife, score a circle just inside the pastry, to mark the cavity for the filling. It helps if you do this in two semi-circular shapes rather than try and score the circle as you would draw it. Brush with the beaten egg and bake in the oven until risen and golden - about 15 minutes. Take out and leave to cool.
  4. When the pastry cases have cooled, gently push the end of a spoon handle into the centre of the pastry case to form the hole for the filling. Press gently around the sides of the border you made to make a nice, neat case.
  5. Fill the case with the chicken mixture, choosing the smaller chunks first. Top with a coriander leaf or two and serve.