Bend Me Shape Me by American Breed
Yeah, so maybe this song choice would have been more accurate for the last time we used puff pastry, with all the folding and shaping involved. But I'm sticking with it - just to emphasize how versatile puff pastry can be. And how wondrous it is, even when simply sliced into rectangles. You really can shape it any way you like and create some wonderful edible art, lifting any "ho-hum" dinner to "out of this world" status. Your family will ask, "Who's coming for dinner?" And feel honored when they find out it's them! This song could be the national anthem of Puff Pastry Land. It's all the dough really wants - to be loved, I mean. "Bend me, shape me, any way you want me, as long as you love me, it's all right."
So there I was - with a left over puff pastry sheet from last week's post and a goodly amount of chicken left over from a mega-roasted-chicken Sunday dinner when I roasted up four birds for some fun weekend company. A perusal of my vegetable bin found some straggling mushrooms and fresh thyme. And I try to always have some Laughing Cow Lite cheese on hand. (You should, too, by the way. Especially if you're calorie conscious. Those little wedges can do magic tricks!)
What to do to use up these ingredients and not let them go to waste?!
As I sat at my kitchen counter, staring at the items before me, I remembered a photo on the cover of my Real Simple magazine a month ago, which showed this tasty looking chicken pot pie using a puff pastry topper instead of the traditional pie dough treatment. Although I adore making pies, sometimes you just want something quick.
I was too lazy to get up and track down that particular recipe so, while my behind was glued to the chair, I started thinking about how to go about making a chicken pot pie filling. I suddenly realized how easy it would be AND I had all the ingredients required. It got me so excited that I broke free from the chair and started making this recipe. And just try to imagine how happy I was when it actually turned out DELICIOUS!
At least I'm pretty sure it was delicious. I pretty much inhaled it. But, happy news! It reheats beautifully! The next day for lunch I popped one of those little dishes into the microwave for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until fully heated. I had stored the extra puffs in a separate bag. I heated one for about 20 seconds. I placed it on top of the chicken dish and took my time this time. Verify! Delicious!
Printable Recipe Card
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped carrots
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. black pepper
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
3 T. flour
1/2 c. white wine
2 wedges Laughing Cow Lite Swiss Cheese
2 1/2 c. chicken stock
3 c. cooked chicken, cubed
1 c. frozen peas
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the puff pastry from it's package and place on lightly floured work surface. Cut along the folds to create 3 long rectangles, then cut each of them in half for 6. Place each rectangle on a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake for 15 - 20 minutes. They will puff up like pillows. Remove when golden brown on top. Set aside.
While the puff pastry is baking start the chicken dish. In a deep Dutch oven or other large pot, swirl the olive oil in and heat over medium high heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and stir to coat. Cook the vegetables until the onions are translucent - about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they just start to get a little brown on their edges. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.
Add the flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently. The mixture will be dry but don't worry, you're just cooking out the raw flour flavor. It's OK if bits get stuck to the bottom of the pan. Just don't let them burn. Adjust heat if that starts to happen.
Add the wine to the pan and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan and cook until bubbly. Add the wedges of Laughing Cow cheese and stir to melt. Pour in the chicken stock and stir. Bring to a bubble and then stir in chicken and frozen peas. Remove from heat.
I ladled mine into individual serving dishes but you can place yours in a large casserole dish if you don't have the mini dishes.
Put the chicken mixture into the oven and heat for 15 minutes until bubbly. To serve, place each rectangle puff on top of each mini-dish or simply set along the chicken dish when scooped onto each person's plate or bowl. You will have two extra puff pillows - or not!