À la King is mainly defined by a creamy sauce spiked with pimentos, mushrooms, and peas. It can be served over toast, biscuits, noodles, or rice. This version is served vol-au-vent or in a warm puff pastry case. It may look fancy, but this recipe can come together in less than an hour if you have some cooked meat lying around.
Classically this dish is served with chicken, but pretty much any meat you have in the freezer will work as a substitute. I'd argue that you could even use most types of fish in this recipe. Something smoked would be especially good.
-2 cups pulled rabbit meat -1 package puff pastry sheets -1 pt. heavy cream -3 tbsp. butter -3 tbsp. garlic -2 tbsp. dijon mustard -½ cup carrot, small diced -½ cup celery, small diced -1 cup yellow onion, small diced -1 cup green pepper, small diced -2 (4 oz.) jars pimentos -1 cup game stock or mushroom stock -¾ cup petite peas -1 cup reconstituted dry mushrooms -2 tbsp. dijon mustard -Coarse salt -Cracked black pepper -1 egg for egg wash -2 tbsp. corn starch -2 tbsp. water
Fried Leeks (optional) -1 small leek, sliced thin -Corn starch -Vegetable or canola Oil
Also works with
- Braise or roast the rabbit with your favorite aromatics and spices until tender. Cool the meat slightly and shred it into small chunks. Reserve the shredded meat for later.
- Pull the puff pastry from the freezer to thaw for about 30 minutes. Once you can just unfold the sheets, it's time to form the pastry cases. Cut each sheet into four equal squares. You will have eight squares from the whole box.
- Prepare egg wash by whisking together an egg with a splash of water. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place four of the pastry squares evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Brush them with the egg wash.
- Cut a small square into the remaining four pastry squares with a knife or cookie cutter, leaving a ¾-inch rim of pastry. Leave the cut squares in each pastry sheet and place the whole thing evenly on top of the egg-washed pastry squares on the baking sheet. Brush the top with the egg wash. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until they are browned and have fully risen.
- While the pastry is cooking, make the filling. Add butter to a dutch oven on medium-high heat. Sauté the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the fresh or reconstituted dried mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or two.
- Add the stock and reduce it by half. Whisk in the dijon mustard then add the green peppers, pimentos, shredded meat, and heavy cream. Bring the filling back to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Check for seasoning and finish by adding the peas.
- Lastly, mix the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to create a slurry, and mix into the filling to thicken the gravy.
- Fry the leeks. Thinly slice the bottom of a leek lengthwise into matchstick-size ribbons and lightly toss into cornstarch. Fry them quickly in a small pot at 360°F. Place on a towel or wire rack to cool and season with salt.
- To serve, pull the inside square out of the puff pastry bowls, spoon in the filling, and top with fried leeks.