Monday, March 21, 2011

What Can You Do with a Roux? Part 2

A few weeks ago we discussed what a roux is, and how to make one. One of the famous "mother sauces" (sauces upon which other sauces are built) is the Sauce velouté. (Velouté is the French term for "velvety.") This sauce is made by heating the roux, then adding room-temperature chicken, veal, or fish stock. The proportions should be two parts roux to one part stock. This may be either reduced or thinned, and salt and pepper added. As with Sauce Espagnole, there are so many variations it would take an entire cookbook just to list them all and give instructions!

When cooking with roux, it's important to remember to keep the roux hot and the liquid room temperature, and to whisk well. The key to velouté sauce and all its "daughter sauces" (of which there are many!) is the velvety texture.

If you use chicken stock, try a velouté sauce over a light chicken dish, or over vegetables, potatoes or rice accompanying chicken. If you are using fish stock for your velouté, it makes an excellent accompaniment to fish plates as well.

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