Cooking On A Budget: The Mother Sauces - Velouté

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Mother Sauces - Velouté

Velouté is another relatively simple mother sauce. The recipe below is a chicken velouté with the addition of heavy cream which makes it a Supreme Sauce (a secondary sauce to the mother sauce). You make the roux, whisk in hot chicken stock and at the end add in the heavy cream.
Depending on what you are making as a dish, you may want to leave it as a chicken velouté. For instance a baked chicken breast where you just want the thickened chicken velouté to be the sauce. For something like chicken a la king or chicken tettrazinni you would use the supreme sauce.
Other versions of the velouté include veal velouté and fish velouté. A veal velouté that has been thickened with egg yolks becomes an Allemende Sauce.
A fish velouté with white wine and heavy cream turns into a white wine sauce. The mother sauce velouté becomes so complex as it forms so many other sauces.
For the average cook, knowing this basic mother sauce allows you to be creative with your cooking. Making a veal stock is not only costly, but time consuming and if you look in your soup and stock aisle at the grocery store I believe most of them are carrying some brand of veal stock in a box.
Making fish stock from the bones and head and tail of a fish with aromatics thrown in can also not be in the cards for the average home cook. However, as I have often told you in my blog posts - save your shrimp shells, your lobster shells and from there you can garner a "seafood" stock and make your own seafood velouté. It won't be quite the same as a chef who has mastered the art of French culinary skills, but it will serve as a nice base for so many home cooked recipes.

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2-3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/3 cup hot chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (use half and half if that is all you have)
  • salt to taste
  1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium low heat.
  2. Add the flour to make a roux.
  3. Keep whisking until the flour taste has worn off - you will notice a change in the smell of the flour. Takes around 3 minutes or so.
  4. Slowly add in the cup of hot chicken broth and keep whisking as you go.
  5. Make sure that is well incorporated.
  6. Add some salt to taste.
  7. Last, whisk in the cream.
For tonight why not try a pan seared chicken with Sauce Supreme? Simply take bone-in or boneless chicken breasts and season both sides with salt and pepper and any other dry spices you like. My go to spice additions are onion powder and granulated garlic.
  1. Cook over moderate heat with a touch of butter and olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides. Takes about 2-3 minutes per side.
  2. Finish off in the oven: cook in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes more depending on the thickness of the breast. To be sure it's done, probe with an instant read thermometer. Poultry needs to be at 165 degrees for safety purposes. You can pull it out at 160-162 degrees, cover with foil while you make your sauce.
  3. In this case, I would use the pan drippings as well and that will fortify the flavor even more.

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