Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 140, Herbed Chicken in Pastry

I wanted to do something different with my chicken today. Wrapping it in Puff Pastry did the trick.

1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
1 egg
1 tbsp water
ground black pepper, optional
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
2 tbsp butter
1 container (4 oz) garlic and herb spreadable cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork.
Season the chicken with the black pepper, if desired. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until it's well browned on both sides. Remove the chicken to a plate.
Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 14-inch square. Cut into 4 (7-inch) squares.
Spread about 2 tbsp cheese spread in the center of each pastry square. Top each with 1 tbsp parsley and 1 chicken breast. Brush the edges with the egg mixture. Fold the corners of the pastry squares to the center over the chicken and press to seal. Place the pastries seam-side down onto a baking sheet. Brush the pastries with the egg mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.

Serves 4

I didn't have a lot of space to roll out the pastries, so I gently pulled the pastries from the center to the edges until they were the appropriate size. I baked them on parchment paper to prevent sticking to the baking sheet. If you don't have parchment paper, spray your baking sheet with non-stick spray. The original recipe called for cooling the chicken for 15 minutes to overnight, but I was in a hurry and didn't want to let them cool. Having hot chicken in the pastries will make the pastry rise even before you place them in the oven. Let them cool to room temperature before assembling them so the pastry doesn't rise before placing them in the oven. I used a smaller cut of chicken breast than I usually use and they ended up being the right size for this recipe. Make sure you use a garlic herb spreadable cheese you'd normally use for spreading on crackers. You will know you like the cheese if you normally eat it like that.

Flavor Rating: Great, I'd serve this at a fancy dinner.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate, takes a little time and preparation to make this.

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