Chicken Veloute with Sweetbreads

This is one of those dishes that looks very elegant and beautiful and tastes comforting and satisfying.  It’s also a great example of a recipe from Eleven Madison Park that is very achievable even for a novice, particularly if you omit the sweetbreads.  A Velouté is a sauce made from a light stock (typically chicken or fish) thickened with a roux (equal parts flour and butter).  It literally means ‘velvet’ and is one of the 5 mother sauces of French cuisine.

If you have the chicken stock already made it isn’t too time consuming and most of the time you do spend is waiting around letting things soak or simmer.  This dish pairs really well with dense and creamy white wines like white Chateauneuf du Pape or white Burgundy.  And if you are looking for something to sop up all the delicious velouté, try the brioche and truffle butter recipe.

Also – check out the dinner party this dish was featured in.

Finished Chicken Veloute


Ingredients – Serves 4

Veal Sweetbreads

  • 225g veal sweetbreads
  • 2g salt
  • 30g flour
  • Canola oil for frying

Truffle Cream

  • 1 sheet of gelatin
  • 60g black truffle juice
  • 100g heavy whipping cream
  • 5g salt

Chicken Velouté

  • 10g canola oil
  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 100g diced onion
  • 50g diced celery
  • 50g diced leeks
  • 1000g chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 parsley stems with leaves
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 50g butter at room temperature
  • 50g flour
  • 30g sherry
  • 8g salt
  • 10g lemon juice
  • 30g crème fraîche


  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2g salt
  • 1 sprig thyme




  • Cut the sweetbreads into 1 inch pieces and remove any fat or membrane.  Soak the sweetbreads in ice water in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours changing the water at the 12 hour mark.  Reserve until just before serving.



Truffle Cream

  • Place the gelatin in cold water for 5 – 10 minutes in order to soften it up
  • Meanwhile, reduce the truffle juice in a small pan by half.  Once the gelatin is soft add it to the truffle juice and stir to completely dissolve.

Truffle Juice

  • In a cool metal bowl, whip 80g of the cream to soft peaks.

Truffle Cream

  • Stir the remaining 20g of cream into the truffle juice and chill over ice.  Stir continuously to prevent the gelatin from setting.
  • Once the mixture is cool, whisk it into the whipped cream and stir until a smooth consistent mixture is achieved.  Stir in the salt .

Truffle Cream 2

  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to set.

Chicken Velouté

  • In a stock pot, heat the canola oil over medium high heat and add the chicken leg, skin side down.  Sear for 10 minutes or until a nice golden brown crust has formed.

Chicken Thighs for Veloute

  • Add the onion, celery, and leeks and cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the chicken stock, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.  Simmer until the mixture has reduced by half (about 1 1/2 hours).

Chicken Veloute Simmering

  • When the stock is almost finished reducing, cream together the flour and butter in a small bowl.  The resulting mixture should resemble a cookie dough.
  • Once the stock is finished reducing, whisk in the butter and flour mixture ensuring it is entirely incorporated and no clumps remain.
  • Bring the mixture once again to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes on medium low heat stirring frequently.  This will cook out any of the raw flour taste.
  • The soup should thicken dramatically and coat the back of a spoon once finished.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and season with the sherry, salt, and lemon juice.  Whisk in the crème fraîche and keep the soup warm until ready to serve.

Chicken Breast

  • Season the chicken with the salt then vacuum seal with the thyme sprig.
  • Cook sous vide at 145°F for 30 minutes then when finished but into 1 inch cubes and keep warm till serving.

Sous Vide Chicken


  • Prepare the oil for frying the sweetbreads by heating it to 375°F.  Season the sweetbreads with the salt and place in the flour to give them a light dusting.
  • While the oil is heating, place a spoonful of the truffle cream into the center of 4 shallow bowls.
  • Place the seasoned and flour dusted sweetbreads into the hot oil and fry for 4 minutes.  Drain on a paper towel to remove excess grease.
  • Place the sweetbreads and the chicken cubes into the bowls.
  • Distribute the velouté among the bowls ensuring to only cover the solids by about half way.
  • Serve, ideally with the Brioche & Truffle Butter and a nice white wine.

Chicken Veloute & Brioche

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