Chicken in a Basket

METHOD: Stove top, oven
TIME: Prep: 40 min. + cooling
8-10 frozen puff pastry shells
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups julienned carrots (buy already cut in a bag)
3 chicken breasts cooked and cut into cubes
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Cut chicken into cubes and saute in a skillet with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Set aside.
Place onion, celery, broth, carrots, salt and pepper in a large deep skillet. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Bake pastry shells according to package directions. These should be relatively dry, I usually cook them a little longer then the package says.
In a separate saucepan melt butter and add flour and stir to make roux (until smooth), immediately add to broth and veggies then stir until mixed well, bring to a gentle boil. Add nutmeg, lemon juice and chicken, gently simmer for 3 minutes. Reduce heat and gradually stir cream into broth mixture and heat through (do not boil).
Cut the tops off the pastry shells and carefully scoop out the center and discard Set the top aside. Place the bottom in a bowl and spoon the Chicken mixture into the pastry shells and fill to the top and spilling over the sides. Set the pastry top on. Serve Immediately

This dish is so creamy and tasty, the chicken is tender and the carrots make it very pretty and delicate. You can use peas and/or broccoli instead of celery if you prefer. You can make it a little spicy with 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper or diced red peppers, or more crunchy with diced water chestnuts.


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