09 March 2011

Random Recipe II ...

Because I loved participating in Dom's February Random Recipe Challenge, I jumped on this month's dare the moment he posted the parameters ... read on here to see if you'd like to join the hardy folk willing to allow randomness into their culinary lives!

The recipe comes from that same little book I've been accessing of late - A Taste of New Hampshire. Actually, when the randomness brought it off my cookbook shelf, it never went back ... I've been having fun looking through it and making a few 'little things'.  One of the 'few little things' that this recipe yields ...

After following Beatice's wish, I ended up with an easy recipe for these chicken starters. The original recipe calls for a refrigerator case prepared crescent roll dough roll (the dough boy kind ...), but I prefer puff pastry, so I substituted. Because I substituted puff pastry for the crescent roll dough, I brushed the tops with the egg wash to keep the crispy finish on the pastry. I put the butter in the filling and left out the milk entirely. I used chicken thighs; dark meat has more flavor. I poached them in a small amount of lemon and tarragon flavored chicken broth.  I also brought some green onions into the recipe to add more color and I only had Panko bread crumbs, so I seasoned them myself.  Otherwise, the recipe is as it was published (tongue in cheek ... I did change this up quite a bit, didn't I?!).

The recipe made eight 3-inch round pasties for our lunch on this sunny cold day! There are four leftovers for a midnight snack, breakfast, or tomorrow's lunch, if they hang around THAT long. Very tasty pasties,

Chicken Crescent Squares-My Version - printer friendly

So ... the first thing I had to do was prepare the 'cooked chicken ... washed and dried three boneless and skinless chicken thighs and seasoned them with tarragon, lemon peel, lemon juice, kosher salt and black pepper while the pan of 2 cups of chicken broth came to a boil ... popped the chicken into the pan with the hot broth, turned down the heat, and simmered until done ... about 15 minutes.

While the chicken simmered, I defrosted the puff pastry ...

No money changed hands here, but it is a good product and would be an even better one, if they would (insert an outraged and increasingly strident tone of voice, here) insert full sheets of waxed board between all the layers so that you can unfold the sheets without pulling them 'askew' from their rectangular form ... GOT IT, Pepperidge Farm marketing geeks?!?  Sorry, but I get so frustrated when the puff pastry sheets are stuck together.

Once, done with the chicken and pastry prep, I got things chopped and ready for the filling and got the butter melted and the cream cheese softened. Then, time to construct...

Chicken Crescent Squares
adapted from Carol L. Dembeck’s recipe in A Taste of New Hampshire


3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp. butter, melted
2 c. cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. green onion, green part sliced thinly into rings
1 tbsp. pimentos, finely chopped
1 package puff pastry sheets
¾ c. seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten, for sealing the little square ‘purses’

Making the Dish:

1. In a small mixing bowl, mix together: cream cheese, melted butter, chicken, salt, pepper, onions, and pimento. Set aside.

2. Spread one sheet of the puff pastry on a cool rolling surface. Roll out to widen it and cut it into four squares.

3. Place 1/8 of the chicken mixture in the center of each of the pastry squares.

4. Brush the outer edges of the pastry with some egg mixture and draw the four corners up, pinching the edges to seal them and forming a little roundish/squarish purse.

5. Brush the purses with more egg wash, dip the tops in the seasoned bread crumbs, and place them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.

6. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and the other half of the chicken filling.

7. Preheat the oven to 375° F.

8. Spray the tops of the pasties with just a bit of olive oil, sprinkle on a bit of paprika and black pepper, and place in the pre-heated oven .

9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the squares are golden brown and crispy-looking.

10. Serve warm from the oven as a first course or with a small green salad for a light lunch.

Verdict:  These were totally delish and I had to stop myself from knoshing a third one at lunch ... I won't promise that my leftover serving will make it until tomorrow ...


  1. Great post..loved ur plate... !

  2. god these are adorable!... love chicken wrapped in pastry but this is a proper cook book recipe isn't it? That's why I love this challenge! Thanks so much for participating! Dom x

  3. Isn't his recipe fun! I can't wait to post my recipe! Your's looks delicious! These would be great for a party or to have on hand in the freezer!

  4. They look sooo good!
    well done for taking part!

  5. These look fantastic! Not sure what crescent roll dough is (is it what we'd call croissant dough in the UK?) but puff pastry sounds perfect for what's inside.


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