Chicken Boudin with Courgette Spaghetti & Thyme Velouté
I think most people experience a moment in their lives when they felt regret that they didn’t listen more carefully or paid closer attention to what mom or dad was trying to teach you. I had such a moment in my life recently when I decided I want to make my own sausage or in Afrikaans “Boerewors”. My dad came from a generation where they were taught to be completely self-sufficient, he could do anything and everything – a true Jack of all trades and master of many as well, may I add. One thing where he was a great master was sausage making and today I can kick myself that I didn’t pay closer attention when he tried to teach me this art as a teenager. He is unfortunately not with us anymore so I can’t ask, but decided recently to start from the bottom and work my way up in the art of sausage making.
I decided to start with a Boudin, but followed a simple and very modern way of making this French version of a sausage. The technique is very easy, you need a filling, cling film and a pot of boiling water. First make your sausage filling, then place about 150-200g of filling at the one end of your cling film and start rolling the filling to be encased by the cling film. To compact the sausage, take the two ends of the cling film and start to twist them to push the filling all to the middle until you have a sausage measuring about 10-12cm. Make a knot on both sides and set the sausage aside making the rest. Your boudin should look something like a christmas cracker at the end. Once you have made all the sausages, you then poach them in fast boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Once poached you can remove the cling film and if you like you can give the sausage some colour by frying it in a hot pan. Here is my recipe for Chicken Boudin with courgette spaghetti and a creamy thyme velouté:
For the Boudins:
- 200ml water
- 195g flour
- 600g skinless chicken breast fillets, chopped
- 4 eggs
- 6 slices white bread, crust removed
- 120 g butter, softened
- 50ml White Jerepigo
- 100g mushrooms, chopped and fried
- 250ml double cream
- 4ml smoked paprika
- 4ml ground cumin
- 2 Garlic clove
- Leaves of 4 thyme sprigs
- Salt to taste
For the Velouté:
- 40g Unsalted butter
- 3 Shallots, finely chopped
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- 100 ml White Jerepigo
- 75ml vermouth
- 375ml strong chicken stock
- 250ml double cream
- 5ml smooth dijon mustard
For the Spaghetti:
- 1 Large Courgette per person
- Salted boiling water
- 40ml Olive oil
- 6-8 Rosa tomatoes per person
- Himalayan Rock Salt
- Giant Oyster Mushrooms, sliced (see photo)
- A few chive sprigs for decoration
- First make the boudins. Fry the mushrooms in the butter until they are golden and nearly crispy. The next step is to place all the ingredients for the boudins in a food processor and blend until smooth. To make a boudin, lay a length of cling film on the kitchen top. Put the mixture in a piping bag and pipe a long tube of 100-150g and about 10-12cm long, on one side of the cling film, lengthways. Roll the cling film across the chicken mixture to form a long cylindrical shape and tie a knot in end. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Turn the heat down now as the water must not boil or the sausages will puff and split. Plunge the sausages into the simmering water and poach for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your boudins. When cooked, lift out of the water and allow to cool for about two minutes. Remove the cling film and cut each boudin at an angle and flatten the bottoms by cutting it so that it can stand on your plate. You can serve as is or I like to give it a little colour later just before service in a pan. You can make the boudins well in advance, when you fry them in the pan for colour, that will add heat to them again.
- To make the velouté: Heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and black pepper, once the shallots are translucent add the Jerepigo and vermouth and reduce by 60% or until it resembles a thick syrup in consistency. Add the chicken stock now and reduce by half. Add the cream and dijon mustard and reduce until the sauce starts to thicken. After all the reductions the sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it is too runny reduce for a further 5 minutes. Taste now for salt and add if needed. Strain the sauce through a sieve, discard the whole parts and keep the sauce warm over a double boiler or bain-marie until needed.
- To make the spaghetti: First fry the sliced king oyster mushrooms in half of the oil until golden brown and nearly crispy. Sprinkle with himalayan salt once out of the pan and set aside. Add the rest of the oil and quickly sear the tomatoes until their skins blister, remove from heat and sprinkle with some of the himalayan salt as well. Please see my article here on how to make the courgette spaghetti. Important: blanch the spaghetti only for about 20-30 seconds, more than that and they disintegrate to a mush on your plate. Refresh immediately in ice water to stop the cooking. Here the pasta can’t wait for the sauce! So make that sauce first and everything else first.
- Make sure your plates are warm for the dish.
- Place one boudin slighty pan fried and cut at an angle on each plate.
- Arrange some spaghetti and tomatoes around it.
- Place two slices of the mushrooms against each boudin and decorate with two chive sprigs.
- Laddle about 50ml of velouté over each boudin and serve.
This is such an easy way to start making your own sausages, you can use pork, fish and I have recently made a prawn and scallop boudin with a curry velouté which was heaven on a plate! Will share this later with you. Point is this is a good start in learning how to make a sausage and the lessons learned here will come in handy later. Enjoy and have fun!