La Creme de Volaille: Cream of Chicken

Cream of chicken

Childhood soup – Creme de volaille.  When I Google recipe search, many results came up as “creme de poulet,” but my father calls to this soup, “creme de volaille.”  Volaille and poulet mean poultry in French.

Creme de volaille is a French version cream of chicken.  When we were little, my parents used to take us to this French-style restaurant which served a good bowl of creme de volaille.  Since the restaurant no longer exist, my father recreated the recipe from taste memory, and I tweaked his healthy version to suite my specific requirements: light and creamy with a hint of nuttiness.  To give this soup a nutty taste, I cook the flour first before adding liquid, and the essential fats to helps create the creaminess.  This velvety, rich, and flavorful soup may have a French name but it is very simple to make.
Note:  If you prefer thicker soup, add more flour a little at a time to reach desired consistency.

 

Ingredients

  • 1,892 milliliters  (64 fl oz ) Chicken Broth (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 piece chicken breast, thawed if frozen
  • 84 grams (7 tablespoons)  all-purpose flour
  • 32 grams (2 tablespoons) butter
  • 50 milliliters (1/4 c)  half-and-half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chives for garnish

Directions

To cook chicken breast:

  • If you are using store-bought chicken broth then you will need to cook the chicken breast.
  • Place chicken breast in a pot, and add in water enough to cover the piece. Cover pot with a lid.
  • Place the pot over a high heat and bring the content to a boil and let it cook at high heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Then turn off the fire and let the chicken breast continue cook in for 5-10 minutes.  So do not lift the lid to peak!  This method allows the chicken to continue to cook without overcooking it.  However, if this is your first time using this method, you may need to adjust the time to slightly more cooking or less depending if there is any sign of very undercook or over-cooked chicken.
  • After 5-10 minutes, remove chicken from pot.  let it cool.
  • Once the chicken is cool enough to touch, begin to shred the chicken breast into thin floss-like strips. set aside.

To make the cream soup:

  • Place a large pot over  a medium heat and bring the temperature of the pot up a little.
  • Melt the butter and then add  in all-purpose flour.
  • Stir constantly and cook it under medium-low heat until flour starts to turn brown and smell nutty.
  • Add in the broth a little at a time, similar to making roux, while stirring constantly. Keep adding the broth until the mixture is nice and pasty.
  • Add all the broth, turn up the heat, still stirring to prevent burning, and bring it to a boil.  If it is too thick add a little more water, half-and-half, or broth to thin it.
  • Turn off heat and remove from stove.  If there are clumps in the soup, run a hand-held blender through it, and it will be creamy.
  • Season with salt to taste.

To assemble the soup:

  • Just before serving, garnish the soup with shredded chicken, and chives.  Season with pepper.   Et voila! La creme de volaille.

Serve this creamy soup with sweet baguette. Delicious and warming!

Bon appetite!

6 comments on “La Creme de Volaille: Cream of Chicken

  1. Cream of chicken soup is sometimes just what the doctor ordered, isn’t it?
    I like farm style chunky chicken too…..god bless chooks, huh?!
    Have you heard about our new foodie link up?
    We’re inviting foodies to join us in crossing cooking adventures off their bucket lists for a monthly hook up with fellow gastronomes.
    It’s called Our Growing Edge and it’s about trying new things, or repeating things that you want to improve.
    Ever wondered if you could make pasta, or croissants, decorate a cake r make jam?
    We’d love you to join us on our food travels!!
    http://keepingupwiththeholsbys.com/2013/03/01/our-growing-edge-a-monthly-food-link-up/

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