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Chicken Puff Pastry Parcel

This recipe is not as difficult to make as it looks, and once you’ve tasted it, you will make it often!  It provides a great way to use up leftovers. Also try the recipe for Pear & Chocolate Puff Pastry Parcel for a sweet version of this recipe.

Filling
30 g butter
1 large leek, thinly sliced (about 250 ml)
10 ml crushed garlic
250 g button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
lemon zest, finely chopped (optional)
250 ml mixed frozen vegetables, e.g. carrots, mealies and peas (rinsed under boiling water)
250 g Crème Fraiche
finely chopped rind of 1 medium lemon
750 g leftover cooked chicken, skin and bones removed
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pastry
400 g puff pastry (plain or herbed), defrosted overnight

Egg Wash

1 large egg, beaten with a little water

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Set it aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks cook for 10 minutes while stirring.
  3. Add the vegetables and garlic and stir-fry until cooked.
  4. Stir in the lemon rind, Crème Fraiche, chicken and seasoning.
  5. Remove from the stove and set it aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
  6. When ready to assemble, pre-heat the oven to 200 º C.
  7. Roll out the pastry on a large sheet of baking paper, to a large rectangle, about 30 cm x 40 cm.
  8. Use a butter knife or spatula and mark a line down the length of the pastry to get a middle line.
  9. Mark a line to the left and the right of the middle line as well.
  10. Cut the pastry sides diagonally in strips, cutting up to the lines at 2 cm intervals.  
  11. Cut away the triangles that will form in the four corners of the rectangle and set it aside. You might need it later to do patchwork!
  12. Spoon the filling onto the middle section of the pastry, leaving at least a 2 cm margin on each short side of the pastry.
  13. Fold the end pieces on the short sides of the pastry over the filling.
  14. Carefully lift the top strip of the pastry vfrom the right hand side and gently pull it across over the filling.
  15. Do the same with the top pastry strip on the left hand side.
  16. Cross the pastry strips over the filling alternating from each side so that the filling is covered with pastry.
  17. Use the leftover pastry and create a rope of sorts and place down the middle of the pastry parcel.
  18. Use a pastry brush and brush the pastry all over with the egg.
  19. Slide a baking tray under the baking paper and bake the parcel for 25 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.
  20. Slide the parcel onto a work surface and let it cool for a few minutes.
  21. Transfer the parcel to a serving platter with the help of 2 egg lifters.
  22. Serve with a mixed salad.

6 servings.

Variations

  • Substitute the leek with 1 large finely chopped onion.
  • Substitute the frozen vegetables with leftover vegetables, e.g. steamed carrots.
  • Substitute the creme fraiche with white sauce.
  • Use leftover Chicken a la King, bobotie, etc. as a filling.
Spoon the filling onto the middle section of the pastry, leaving at least a 2 cm margin on each short side of the pastry.
Fold the end pieces on the short sides of the pastry over the filling.
Carefully lift a pastry strip from the right hand side and gently pull it across over the filling.
Carefully lift the top strip of the pastry vfrom the right hand side and gently pull it across over the filling.
Continue in this manner, alternating with the pastry striops from each side so that the filling is covered with pastry.
Use the leftover pastry and create a rope of sorts and place down the middle of the pastry parcel.
Slide the parcel onto a work surface and let it cool for a few minutes.
Transfer the parcel to a serving platter with the help of 2 egg lifters.