Bouchée à la Reine

I have always loved ‘bouchée à la Reine’ – this classic starter is exactly what I love about French cuisine – elegant and old-fashioned. I like to have it simply as a main course with a salad on the side. It’s the kind of food you would buy at the ‘traiteur’ (delicatessen) or served at your great-aunt’s house for a ‘Proustian’ lunch. My simplified version of this small puff pastry includes chicken, morel mushrooms, onions, white wine and a bechamel sauce. It looks so dressed up, with a little hat on top. I love making this meal on the week-ends, and as I do a lot of cooking, I buy ready-made pastry shells, available in most supermarkets. All you have to do is the filling, bechamel sauce, and heat up the shells. If you can’t find morel mushrooms, you can replace with any mushrooms of your choice whether they are fresh, canned or dried.


8 vol-au-vent pastry shells
3 chicken filets, diced
70 grs/ 1/2 cup morel mushrooms, chopped (or any mushroom of your choice)
1 small onion, chopped
30 grs/ 2 tbsp butter
15 ml/ 1 tbsp white wine
Handful of chopped parsley


60 grs/ 1/4 cup butter
40 grs/ 1/4 cup flour
480 ml/ 1 cup milk
a pinch of thyme
1/2 cube chicken stock, crumbled
half a glass of wine (optional)
Coarse salt and pepper for seasoning

In a pan, fry the onion in the butter until soft and golden, add the diced chicken and fry for 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry 4-5 minutes – add the white wine and let the sauce reduce for 3 minutes. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven 150° celsius.

Prepare the bechamel sauce – melt the butter in a casserole, and gradually add the flour and the milk with a whisk on medium heat. Crumble in the cube of chicken stock. It should become thicker and thicker. By now you can add the half glass of wine – (this is optional). Lower the heat and stir firmly and quickly until desired thickness. Set aside.

Take out the pastry shells and heat for 8-10 minutes. Now you can mix the chicken with the bechamel sauce. Reheat slightly for 2 minutes on a low-heat. Fill generously each shell and place top ‘hat’ shell on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serve either as a starter or as a main course with a salad on the side.

36 thoughts on “Bouchée à la Reine

  1. I made this dish last night for dinner for my partner and me. He loved it as much as I did! It was simple to prepare but elegant and so delicious. Thank you for the recipe. It is sure to become one of my favorites.

  2. Sublime! I did this last weekend and it blew my mind!
    Used organic products (bio) wherever possible.
    Also, used those ready-made pastry shells available at Monoprix.

    Thank you, Mimi!

    Greetings from Cannes!

  3. Is there any way you can convert the measurements into American English? This looks and sounds so delicious but unfotunately I haven’t the foggiest idea on how much a gram (grs) equals over here. Thank you so much!

  4. I found your recipe and wonderful blog after I googled this recipe while watching ‘Farewell my Queen’. Can’t wait to make this for my family tonight!

  5. Hi! this looks amazing and I want to make it for a party on Saturday. You mentioned that you heat the puff pastry? So you bake the puff pastry shells empty first? And then add the stuffing and bake again? Please let me know thanks so much!

  6. Mimi, making and enjoying these wonderful bouchées today made me forget a really bad day at work! Thank you from your Number One fan of Barcelona!

    1. Oh thank you Giselle – so happy to hear you enjoyed them! I love Barcelona – wish I was there right now for a little holiday! Have a lovely day, Mimix

  7. Giselle,

    This recipe is sublime. Reminded me of my mom’s bouche a la reine with sweet breads. My mom is from Cognac and I grew up wit hher french cooking. I will be making this dish again and again!

    1. Bonsoir Doris! Oh yes, bouchée à la reine, or vol-au-vents with sweet breads is something I love to make for new year’s eve! Must have been lovely to grown up with your mom’s cooking from Cognac – it’s a lovely place! Happy summer! Mimix

  8. Had this pinned for a special occasion. Made them last night with my husband for New Year’s Eve. The meal was incredible! I would note 300 degrees F and I used frozen pastry shells which took longer at a higher temperature. Thank you for step by step instructions.

  9. Stunning blog! Merci! I make a similar dish in Canada for my husband. For mine, I use tuna and peas in sauce. It’s so easy with the pre made puff pastry! He thinks it’s so fancy and so much work (I’ll let him continue to think that ) I like your version with the wine sauce, will try for next time.

  10. Mimi, Love your blog and Greetings from the arctic freeze in Toronto, Canada. How many grams of chicken would you estimate? I bought what was referred to as chicken fillets from my grocery store and 3 fillets only weighs 92 gr. Does that sound right?

  11. I once, long ago, had a recipe like this from a different source and lost it. When I saw this I immediately book your book on advanced sales and just got notice yesterday that it has been shipped (10/28/14) and I am going to make this this weekend. Thank you-Beautiful website!

  12. Bonjour, Mimi!
    Your blog is a source of inspiration for me. I love to come here and read your stories, look at your husband’s beautifully composed photographs and admire your cuisine.
    I would like to ask two questions:
    Firstly, has your book also been published in French?
    And secondly, do you think that one could prepare the béchamel chicken filling in advance, maybe two hours before serving or even several hours/one day?
    Merci beaucoup pour ce blog fabuleux et pour l’assistance!

    1. Bonjour Louise, Thank you for such kind words. To answer your questions, my book will be translated in France, out this October 2015 with Hachette France.As for the béchamel chicken sauce, yes, you can prepare it well in advance! Enjoy! Mimi x

  13. I made this tonight for my family! It was delicious and for certain I will make it again and again! Thank you very much for sharing it!

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