Tuesday, November 17
There hasn’t been much Thanksgiving prep happening here on the blog because, honestly, there just isn’t much Thanksgiving prep happening in my kitchen! I AM cooking next week, and I haven’t done one thing yet to get ready. Honestly, I’m not stressed about it. I’m sticking with the old stand-bys this year, so I pretty much know what we’ll be eating. Just need to do some shopping this weekend. It’s all good. However, if you are actually planning ahead, you can click on my “Thanksgiving Prep” tag and see all kinds of posts related to Thanksgiving!
I do want to share a quick Kitchen Tip today related to Thanksgiving. It’s one of those tips that is kind of a “Duh” thing to share, but I didn’t figure it out until last year, so I imagine I’m not alone in having not done this before. Every year I make crescent rolls for Thanksgiving. And every year I use a sharp knife when cutting dough for crescent rolls. You know, once you’ve rolled out a circle and cut the circle into triangles. Well, last year, I was about to use the knife and then, for some reason, I thought of the pizza cutter. It worked beautifully. Also, what did I tell you? DUH. How had I never done this before?!
Please note that it works best to cut from the outside edge towards the center. If you cut from the center, sometimes the tips of the triangles roll up as you roll the pizza cutter.
Life changer, guys. Well, when it comes to making crescent rolls at least. You’re welcome and happy crescent roll cutting!
Wednesday, September 18
I have had a recipe for ‘chicken croissants’ archived on my site since the very beginning but have never actually written about it, which is a crying shame because it is delectable. Plus, it’s time I actually wrote the recipe out with solid directions rather than vague descriptions. So, today, chicken croissants!
First, a bit about the name of this recipe. Years ago our friends with the last name Chimento ate dinner at my parent’s house and raved over this recipe. From then on, our family fondly called this recipe “Chimento Chicken.” The original name is chicken croissants, which is a bit more descriptive. When I presented both names to my girls yesterday, they voted for Chimento Chicken. I must admit, it has a nice ring to it. Chimento Chicken it is!
There are two ways to make Chimento Chicken: using phyllo dough or using quick crescent rolls. In terms of taste, using phyllo is heavenly and I much prefer it. Nate disagreed and said both phyllo and crescent rolls are equally as tasty, although he did admit the phyllo is a lot prettier. Despite Nate saying both versions are just as good, I just love the crispy, clean butter taste of the phyllo version. Crescent rolls are good, but, you know, they taste like crescent rolls and have just a bit more flavor. BUT, that all said, if you use crescent rolls, it is still mighty delicious! And crescent rolls are SUPER easy. I mean, there’s cream cheese no matter what dough you’re using so take your pick!
Also, don’t be scared of trying the phyllo. I once made this recipe for 100 people and had 10 college-aged kids help me put the phyllo triangles together. If we could do it factory style in a terrible kitchen, you can tackle this!
Chimento Chicken, aka Chicken Croissants
– 1/4 of a large onion, chopped (feel free to add more onion if you like more onion flavor)
– 1 package fresh mushrooms, chopped
– 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
– 1 chicken breast, cooked and cut into pieces
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1/4 tsp. pepper
– Pillsbury (or equivalent) refrigerated crescent rolls (2 packages of 8) OR Phyllo dough (in the freezer section at the store)
– 6 tablespoons butter (only if using phyllo)
– 1 cup chicken broth, cooled
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 tablespoon flour
You can just use a boneless, skinless chicken breast. However, if you’re feeling resourceful: I like to buy a package of 2 chicken breast WITH bones and skin, cover breasts in a big pot with water, boil until cooked through, and then use one of the breasts plus 1 cup of the broth for this recipe and use the other chicken breast and the rest of the broth for chicken soup.
Sauté the onion in a bit of olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until cooked through. Remove from heat.
Mix together onions, mushrooms, cream cheese, chicken breast, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
If using crescent rolls:
- Lay out crescent roll triangles. Plop about 1/8 cup of filling onto the wide end (divide the filling evenly between the 16 rolls), then roll up the crescent roll starting at the wide end, sort of tucking the ends around the filling once it’s rolled up. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 375 degree F oven until dark golden brown, 10-20 minutes.
If using phyllo dough:
- Defrost phyllo in fridge overnight or at room temperature for about 5 hours. Keep in packaging until ready to use.
- Melt 6 T. butter and have it ready with a pastry brush.
- Lay out a large piece of waxed paper or parchment paper on your counter.
- Dampen a clean dish towel. Unwrap dough from packaging and unroll, setting to the side, placing damp towel on top.
- Your phyllo will come in sheets about 12″ x 16″. You will cut those sheets into 4″ x 16″ strips. You will need 20 of those strips total. Once cut, replace under damp towel. (Roll up and wrap in plastic wrap any remaining phyllo dough and keep refrigerated for up to 10 days.)
- Remove one 4″ x 16″ sheet from the pile, re-cover pile with damp towel, place single sheet on waxed paper/parchment paper on the counter. Brush on butter, starting at one end, holding that end with one hand and brushing away from the hand holding the sheet down, covering entire sheet with a thin layer of butter. Add a second sheet and repeat process. The phyllo can break easily but don’t stress. It will all work out! Just be gentle but don’t be too stressed about it.
- Place appx. 1/4 cup of the filling on one end, in a triangle shape. Fold like a flag from the stuffed end all the way down, ending with a triangle stuffed with filling. This website has an excellent set of photos to illustrate the stuffing and folding process. Click here to see! Repeat to make 10 stuffed triangles.
- Place triangles on a Silpat- or parchment paper-lined cooke sheet. Brush tops with butter.
- Bake in a 350 F oven until dark golden, about 20 minutes or so.
To make the gravy:
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon floor and whisk well. Let cook for about 5-10 minutes, whisking fairly regularly. Add cold chicken broth to roux and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 5 minutes, remove from heat. Gravy will thicken a bit as it cools.
Makes 16 stuffed crescent rolls or 10 stuffed phyllo triangles. Serve with gravy.