Chicken breast, ham and cheese with veggies, all wrapped in pastry
In our search to find inexpensive and tasty ways to fill our families’ bellies, we looked at the frozen pastry that is available in almost every grocery store.
The House Chef and crew only publish recipes that we have actually made ourselves, so we bought some frozen dough and chicken breast, ham and cheese, and put this one together.
Give it a try. This recipe makes enough food for four people and cost us about N$130 for everything, including the chicken breast, polony and cheese.
The chicken costs about N$55-N$70 for two fat breasts. Use sandwich slices of cheese that can be cheaper or the locally made cheese.
Any pork sandwich meat can be used here to save costs; we used polony, but the more expensive German ham or Italian prosciutto taste divine.
Left over veggies in the fridge also can be used, but we rather like the fresh broccoli that is now in most shops and we always go with onion, peppers (green pepper is cheaper), and ginger.
We are keen on the interesting taste of tarragon as a herb with chicken, but that can be pricy. You can use ordinary parsley too.
2 packages of frozen pastry dough rolls
Chicken breast fillets (2 fat breasts that can be thinly sliced into four slabs)
Emmental cheese, mozzarella or gouda cheese
A handful of the heads of broccoli, sliced onion (a small one is ok) and mushrooms (button mushrooms, about a handful of thinly sliced caps only, no stems), thinly sliced red or yellow pepper (green is ok too), and/or any leftover veggies in the fridge (corn and peas are good as are asparagus tips or spring onion or leeks – avoid cauliflower, carrots, butternut or potatoes)
2-4 slices of polony or German ham or prosciutto (1 slice per chicken fillet) – you could use streaky bacon too – yummy.
Salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon of chicken seasoning - add some chillies if you like it hot
Ginger pounded into a paste, 3-4 tablespoons of tarragon leaves or any herb of your choice
2 tablespoons (or so) of flour
Melted butter, maybe ¼ cup
1 small egg for an egg-brush
3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil if you can afford this otherwise use cheaper sunflower oil
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC
Oil and flour a baking sheet and set it aside.
Place the chicken breasts on a chopping board and ‘fillet’ cut it with a sharp knife until you have four thin, wide sliced slabs of chicken. Bash/pound each piece until it is flattened to be about 2cm thick. You risk a raw middle if you leave the chicken breast too thick, so make sure it is thin!
Season that chicken wildly… poultry breasts get dry and cook quickly and can be tasteless, so, douse them with olive oil or smear it liberally with salted butter and add the seasonings - slather the breast with the ginger paste and heavily sprinkle it all with tarragon leaves.
Sweat the onions, peppers, broccoli and mushrooms in another pan using olive oil. Do this quickly, do not over-cook them and YES, season them too. Let that cool off a bit before using them. Lay out the thawed out sheets of pastry; cut each in half, flour dust them and use a pastry roller and make all four halves thinner. Smear that dough with butter or olive oil and then dust them with a bit of the flour mixed with lots of chicken spice and tarragon – we drizzle the raw chicken with the ‘juice’ from the pan where we sweated the veggies.
Lay out a raw chicken fillet on each slice of the dough then layer the chicken with a slice of cheese, sweated veggies, and a slice of the German ham/prosciutto/polony (leave any fat on the pork) and drizzle all of it with olive oil. Wrap the chicken breast around all the things you added. Don’t worry about being neat, just make a bundle.
Brush the chicken breast bundle with butter/olive oil and then, fold the pastry over the chicken bundle – make a package of sorts and then, brush it all with butter or oil again.
Finally, lay the packages in your prepared backing dish and brush them on the tops with the egg batter and deeply score each dough package.
Bake for 25 minutes or until browned.
www.food.com for the proportions of ingredients