Impress your guests with ragout fin this holiday season. These mini chicken pot pies part are a popular Christmas appetizer, especially in Germany, thanks to their impressive looks, delicate flavor, and texture. Originally from France, this classic entrée is typically made with tender veal, chicken, and even seafood. In this easy-to-follow recipe, ready-made vol-au-vent shells are generously filled with a creamy chicken and mushroom ragout.
What is ragout fin?
Ragout fin is a classic French appetizer known for its creamy and rich sauce filled with finely diced meats, typically veal or chicken, along with mushrooms which is served in a puff pastry shell or vol-au-vent. Bound together with a velouté sauce (a roux-based white sauce) it is typically enriched with cream or egg yolks.
The term “ragout fin” translates to “fine stew” in French, due to the finely chopped ingredients, delicate flavor, and elegant presentation. It is often considered a gourmet appetizer or entrée choice in fine dining, especially in Germany at Christmas time.
Besides the ready-made vol-au-vents, ragout fin is also available in convenient cans which allows you to create an elegant appetizer in minutes.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Perfect holiday appetizer
- Homemade chicken and mushrooms ragout
- Easy-to-follow recipe
- Vol au vents – To save time on Christmas Eve, I use ready-made French puff pastry shells but you can certainly make vol-au-vent cases yourself.
- Chicken – Tender chicken breasts work best but you can also use chicken thigh fillets.
- Mushrooms – White button mushrooms create a light-colored sauce but you can also use chanterelles.
- Leek – Leek adds extra flavor and color to this German pot pie. You can substitute it with an onion as well.
- Cream – Full-fat cream works best but you can also opt for a lower-fat product.
- Butter – Salted or unsalted can be used for this dish.
- Cornflour – This starchy flour thickens the creamy chicken and mushroom sauce.
- Thyme – Fresh or dried thyme complements the chicken flavor.
- Seasoning – Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
How to make chicken pot pies
- Prepare the vol-au-vents in the oven following the instructions on the packaging.
- Cook the diced chicken in butter in a preheated skillet on medium heat until fully cooked (5-7 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Soften the sliced mushrooms and leek in butter on medium heat. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Stir in the cornflour.
- Stir in the cream and let it simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens. Add the cooked chicken and remove the skillet from the heat.
- Fill the prepared vol-au-vents with a generous serving of the chicken mushroom ragu. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve immediately.
- Prepare the ingredients: Make sure all your ingredients are prepped. Having everything ready will help streamline the quick cooking process.
- Stir continuously: Stir the sauce continuously when adding the cornflour and cream to avoid any lumps.
- Serve immediately: Fill the vol-au-vents just before serving to preserve their crispness and prevent them from becoming soggy.
- Veal ragout: Use diced veal instead of chicken to create the original version of this popular appetizer.
- Seafood ragout: Add shrimp, scallops, and fish, or a mix to the creamy sauce for a light and ocean-inspired twist with a touch of white wine.
- Vegetarian: Omit the meat and opt for more sautéed vegetables including peas, celery, and carrots.
- Truffle: Add an earthy truffle note with truffle oil, paste, or freshly shaved truffles on top of the ragu pies.
- Mustard: Add some spice to the pot pies by incorporating 1 tsp of Dijon mustard or Dijonnaise into the sauce.
Yes, both are creamy meat ragouts. Würzfleisch however is traditionally made with pork or chicken, served in ramekins and topped with grilled cheese. It’s a popular dish in East Germany, the former DDR. Ragout fin is typically made with veal or chicken meat and served in puff pastry shells such as vol-au-vents.
Ragout fin is French and translates to “fine ragu” due to its delicate texture, flavor, and elegant presentation.
Ragout Fin (Chicken Pot Pie)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 400 g chicken breasts 2 pieces, diced
- 1 cup leek thinly sliced
- 2 cups button mushrooms sliced
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 3/4 cup cream
- 1 tsp thyme fresh or dried
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 4 large vol-au-vents or 8 small ones
- Preheat your oven according to the instructions on the vol-au-vent packaging. Once done, set them aside.4 large vol-au-vents
- In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the diced chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until they are no longer pink in the center and have a nice golden color. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Season the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove them from the skillet and set it aside.3 tbsp butter, 400 g chicken breasts, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add the sliced mushrooms and leeks to the skillet. Sauté them until they are tender and any liquid released by the mushrooms has evaporated. This will take approximately 5 minutes. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper, and thyme.1 cup leek, 2 cups button mushrooms
- Sprinkle the cornflour over the sautéed vegetables. Stir well to combine and gradually pour in the heavy cream, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet and mix well with the creamy mushroom and leek sauce. Season the sauce to taste with thyme, salt, and pepper.1 tsp cornflour, 3/4 cup cream, 1 tsp thyme
- Generously add the creamy chicken ragout into each vol-au-vent.
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme or some additional cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.