I’ve always been fascinated with Mediterranean dishes that used a pastry to encase some kind of savory meat and vegetable filling. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on them in restaurants over the past twenty five years and had no idea that making my own dish “en crue” or “in puff pastry” was so easy. And then there is that ambrosia, the nirvana of Greek desert, Baklava, made with Filo pastry—err…ummm--another day perhaps
This recipe has been a favorite in our kitchen for the past year. I cook it about once a month--every time the Brie is on sale at the local grocer. It started out based on this appetizer recipe from recipesource.com. A bit of modification to the recipe and experience gained cooking it a half dozen times has yielded a great entree for two served with asparagus on the side (or your favorite vegetable du jour) or as a rich appetizer with fancy water crackers for those small, intimate get-to-gathers.
You’ll need the following ingredients:
One small wheel of good Brie Cheese
¼ pound of Shiitake mushrooms
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
½ cup white wine (chill the rest of the wine to drink with dinner)
1 clove of garlic, diced very fine
½ tbsp tarragon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp un-salted, semi-sweet butter
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (or if you are into pain—a pile of filo dough sheets)
Now, in the words of Jackie Gleason, “and away we go…”
Toss the wheel of Brie and one sheet of puff pastry dough out of the Fridge onto a piece of wax paper on your counter top. Cover the puff pastry dough with a clean, damp dish towel and let it thaw while you do the following steps.
Rinse the chicken, pat dry, and slice the breast into 1” thick strips. Place the bird into a shallow bowl and pour the olive oil and sprinkle the dried tarragon over the chicken strips, turning to coat evenly.
Slice the mushrooms, dice the garlic clove, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Also preheat a large heavy skillet on the stove top over medium low heat in preparation of cooking the chicken/mushroom mixture.
Add the chicken strips and cook for a couple of minutes on each side. Then pour in the wine, the garlic, the mushrooms, and kick the heat up just a little until everything is simmering nicely.
Spray a little “Pam” olive oil based non-stick spray on the inside of a small, deep casserole dish. Remove the chicken strips to a cutting board, let cool slightly, then slice thinly. Add the butter and return the chicken to the mushroom wine mixture for another few minutes. Turn off the heat and let everything coast.
Slice the wheel of brie into two half thicknesses and place one half in the center of the thawed puff pastry dough. Spoon the cooled mushroom chicken mixture on top of the brie, then top with the other piece of brie.
Fold the corners of the pastry up and over the brie, flip the package over, and place it in the casserole dish tucking the pastry neatly underneath. Place it in the 350 degree oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool for ten minutes, slice, and serve with your vegetable and a glass of the white wine.
The Redneck Gourmet