Chicken Velouté, One of the Five Mother Sauces

Chicken Veloute
The Spruce
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
82 Calories
5g Fat
6g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 82
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 150mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 4mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 114mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Velouté (pronounced "vuh-loo-TAY") is one of the five mother sauces of classical French cuisine—béchamel, Espagnole, hollandaise, and tomato are the other four. This means velouté is a starting point from which a number of sauces can be made. It's sort of like a blank coloring book that you can color in any way you choose. This doesn't mean that a velouté isn't delicious in itself, but that its flavor will be enhanced and amplified by adding other ingredients. Knowing how to make a good velouté is key to saucing endless dishes. Our easy recipe will give you the keys to expand and experiment with this base sauce, and find which herbs, finishing touches, or additions you like best.

From velouté, you can obtain Allemande sauce finished with eggs and cream, and the famous suprême sauce, finished with cream, butter, and lemon juice. Many other creamy sauces come from velouté and they have varied additions: herbs, wine, shallots, or meat drippings, like gravy.

Like béchamel, velouté is considered a white sauce, and both are thickened with roux, a mixture of butter and flour. Whereas béchamel has milk as its base, velouté is made with stock. Since there are three types of white stock—chicken, veal, and fish—there are likewise three types of velouté, but chicken is the most common. Velouté is commonly served alongside chicken or fish; the fish velouté is equally flavorful, and obviously made with fish stock, whereas veal velouté is made out of veal stock.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken veloute sauce ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Lower the heat to keep the stock hot.

    Simmer chicken stock
    The Spruce
  3. In a separate heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the clarified butter over medium heat until it becomes frothy. Take care not to let it turn brown, as velouté must be off-white in color. Browning the butter will yield a darker sauce.

    Melt butter in saucepan until frothy
    The Spruce
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the melted butter a little bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated. The resulting pale yellow-colored paste is called a roux.

    Stir in flour to butter to make roux
    The Spruce
  5. Heat the roux for another few minutes or so, until it has turned a light blond color. This helps cook off the raw flour flavor. Don't let the mixture turn brown for the same reason the clarified butter needed to be kept light in color: the sauce must be pale.

    Heat roux until it's a light color
    The Spruce
  6. Using a wire whisk, slowly add 3 cups of the hot chicken stock to the roux, whisking vigorously to make sure it's free of lumps. Keep whisking while adding the stock. Reserve the remaining half-cup of stock in case you need to thin out the sauce.

    Slowly add chicken stock to roux
    The Spruce  
  7. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the total volume has reduced by about one-third, stirring frequently to make sure the sauce doesn't scorch at the bottom of the pan or form lumps while cooking. Use a ladle to skim off any solids or impurities that might rise to the surface.

    Simmer roux and use ladle to remove impurities
    The Spruce
  8. The sauce should be smooth and velvety. If it's too thick, whisk in a bit more of the remaining hot stock until it's just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This technique involves that the sauce has adequate viscosity to coat the back of the utensil without running off it.

    Whisk in more stock if roux is too thick
    The Spruce
  9. Once you can coat the back of a spoon, remove the sauce from the heat. For an extra smooth consistency, carefully pour the sauce through a wire mesh strainer lined with a piece of cheesecloth.

    Pour roux through cheesecloth or smoother consistency
    The Spruce
  10. Keep the velouté covered until you're ready to use it.

    Finished chicken veloute sauce
    The Spruce
  11. Enjoy!

How and When to Use Velouté

As a base sauce, velouté can be made into other sauces to complement chicken dishes beautifully.

The most popular sauce you can make with velouté is Suprême:

  • You'll need 1 quart of chicken velouté, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 ounce of butter, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. In a slow simmer, reduce the velouté by 1/4; warm up the cream and add it to the sauce. Add the butter to the velouté mixture, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed. Lastly, add a tablespoon of lemon juice while whisking well. Add more lemon to suit your palate. Use the sauce over poached or roasted chicken, but also as a moistening agent if you overcooked your chicken and dried it out.

Velouté is also a great silky base to make creamy soups. To make a velouté soup of your favorite vegetable you'll need:

  • 1 cup of a vegetable of your choice (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, butternut squash), 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of velouté, 1/2 cup of cream, 1 egg yolk, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer your vegetable in the water until tender. Drain but leave 1/4 cup of liquid and process in a blender. Return the pureed vegetable to a pan and add the velouté, taste for salt and pepper, and add accordingly. Keep the mixture on a low simmer. Slightly heat up the cream and whisk in the egg yolk. Carefully add the cream mixture to the vegetable base and stir well. Cook on low for a few minutes until the soup has reached the desired consistency.