Tag Archives: Chicken

Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies

Small Chicken Pot Pie on white dinner plate with small dish of cranberry sauce
Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pie

Comfort food has an emotional, nostalgic, and/or sentimental aspect to it.  It evokes reactions to the senses of sight, taste, and smell.  Think of walking into a kitchen where, for example, a roast chicken or turkey dinner is cooking.  Can you visualize the golden roasted chicken or turkey?  Recall the aroma? The satisfying taste? The mere sound of someone talking about homemade apple pie can summon both the smell and taste sensation of such a fabulously simple dessert.  Maybe you remember the smell of bread baking in the oven at your mother’s or grandmother’s house.  Can you recall the heavenly taste of the homemade bread?

These are a few classic examples of traditional comfort foods.  They are typically hearty foods (not necessarily devoid of calories) that conjure up great taste sensations and perhaps wonderful memories of special people in your life with whom you associate specific foods or special events.

One of my special memories of comfort food is arriving at my grandmother’s house just as a batch of big, fat, soft molasses cookies was coming out of the oven.  This particular grandmother was the epitome of the typical picture of a grandmother – gray hair in a bun, floral pinafore….and you get the picture.  Even as I write this, decades later, I can still conjure up the spicy scent of the molasses cookies and the memory picture of my grandmother removing the pan of cookies from the oven of her wood stove and her sheer pleasure, sitting in her Boston rocker beside the stove, watching little hands reaching for a warm cookie and savoring every bite.  Sweet memories of simple pleasures.

Small, individuall sized chicken pot pies in little tin pie plates sitting on top of a green and white tea towel
Individual Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies

Today, I am sharing my recipe for individual-size Chicken Pot Pies that, in my view, fall nicely into the comfort food category.  Getting the right seasoning and consistency for the sauce and a flaky pastry in which to encase the filling are the two big aspects of making a tasty and satisfying chicken pot pie.  Once you have a good recipe for those, you have a good chicken pot pie.

These pies are filled with a mixture of vegetables and chunks of chicken (or turkey – either works) surrounded by a gently seasoned creamy sauce.  All encased within tender and flaky pastry, these Chicken Pot Pies are the full meal deal.  I typically serve them with nothing but the condiments of homemade mustard pickles and/or cranberry sauce.

Small individual chicken pot pie on dinner plate beside small dish of cranberry sauce
Chicken Pot Pie

Making homemade Chicken Pot Pies can be a bit time-consuming but, if you break the task down into logical steps, the work is accomplished quite efficiently and the end result is all worth it. There are four key steps in making this classic comfort food:

  • Get organized
  • Prepare the filling
  • Prepare the pastry
  • Assemble and bake the pies

Step 1 – Get Organized

Breaking down the tasks and preparing and measuring all the ingredients before beginning to cook will make the work of preparing Chicken Pot Pies efficient.  Of course, the first step is to read through the recipe thoroughly to ensure you understand the steps and procedure.  Make the grocery list of any items you don’t already have on hand.  Plan the shopping excursion to the supermarket.

The recipe is written in logical format, calling for ingredients in the order in which the method is laid out.  Break down the tasks.  Some parts can actually be prepared the day before.  If you need to cook chicken for this recipe, complete that task the day before. The vegetables can be peeled, chopped, and stored in the refrigerator overnight. The pastry can be made the day before and refrigerated. In fact, the entire filling can be made a day ahead and refrigerated and the pies assembled the following day.

Set out all the pots, pans, and cooking utensils needed.  Remember those Home Ec class days when we thought these tasks were mundane and tedious and all we really wanted to do was get to the actual cooking? Turns out the teacher really was giving great advice on how to efficiently organize cooking activities. There is nothing more frustrating than looking for a grater or big spoon just as you’re ready for it!

Before starting to make the recipe, group the ingredients according to different aspects of the pie-making – i.e., pastry ingredients, vegetables, and sauce.   By doing this upfront organization, it will ensure you don’t leave out an ingredient, the actual making of the dish will go faster, and the work area will be less chaotic and cluttered than it would be if several containers and ingredients are all over the counter.

Look for items in the recipe that need the longest cooking or chilling times and prepare those first.  Start with the filling and know that the filling has to be completely cold before assembling the pies so be sure to allot time for the chilling process.  Otherwise, hot or warm filling will break down the fat in the pastry, causing a soggy bottom crust. The pastry needs chilling time, though less than the filling, so make it while the filling is cooling.

Step 2 – Make the Filling

Cooked poultry (either chicken or turkey) is required for this recipe.  This is a great recipe to use if you have leftover roast chicken or turkey.  Chicken or turkey breasts can, of course, be cooked (using your preferred cooking method) specifically for this recipe.  A supermarket BBQ chicken can also be used to save time.

Sauté the vegetables. Having the vegetables already chopped means they can be quickly added to the pan when needed since some vegetables require shorter cooking times than others. It also means that some vegetables in the pan are not getting over-cooked and limp while you stop to chop up the ones needed next.

Prepare the sauce.  Either wheat-based or gluten-free flour can be used as the primary thickener in this recipe.  The recipe calls for either chicken or turkey stock and either homemade or commercial stock can be used.

The sauce needs to be cooked until thickened to the consistency of a very thick chowder.  Add the cooked chicken and frozen peas. Cool the filling completely before assembling pies.

Step 3 – Make the Pastry

The pastry for this pie can be made with either wheat-based flour or gluten-free 1-to-1 flour. The 1-to-1 flour can be used in the same quantity as the recipe calls for for the wheat-based flour.  Other gluten-free flours cannot automatically be substituted, cup-for-cup, so you’d need to know their individual properties, substitution weights, and how they would interact with the fat and liquid content called for in the recipe in order to use them in this recipe.

Here are some basic hints on successfully making pastry, regardless if you are making wheat-based or gluten-free pastry.  All ingredients, even the flour, should be super cold.  Use only enough of the water-egg-vinegar mixture that the dough will cling together.  Too much water will yield a tough crust and, as we all know, the hallmark of the best pastry is a tender and flaky texture.  Adding some vinegar to the liquid ingredients helps to tenderize the dough.  I use one part butter and one part lard in my pie pastry. Using all butter in pastry will give a wonderful flavor and a lovely tanned crust. However, it can be a bit finnicky to work with because it softens very easy and can quickly be over-blended with the flour. If overworked, a tough crust is likely. While lard is easy to work with and will give layers of flakiness in the pastry, it lacks the flavour that butter gives. I find the best combination of fats to provide flakiness, tenderness, flavour, and structure to pastry is to use one part lard and one part butter.  I coarsely chop/cube the butter and lard into the flour then take my pastry cutter and blend the fats to the consistency of large peas.  There is no need to mash it or blend it finely.  Use flour sparingly on the work surface on which the pastry is rolled out as too much flour toughens pastry. Roll the pastry to desired thickness, generally between 1/16” – 1/8” thick.

Hands on rolling pin rolling out pie pastry with three disks of pastry in the foreground
Rolling Pie Pastry

The pastry can be made several days ahead and refrigerated up to three to four days or frozen for up to 2-3 months.  Because pastry dough freezes well, I will often mix up a large batch of pastry to have on hand in the freezer.  Simply divide the dough into desired size portions, form into disks, and freeze individually wrapped in plastic wrap inside airtight freezer bags.

This recipe is designed to be made into individual personal-sized pies, about 4” – 5” in diameter.  These small individual pies have been designed to be double-crusted pies.  I prefer presenting them as individual personal pies versus baking them in large pie plates because the smaller pies stay intact and plate well.  By making them double-crusted, they are easily slid out of the pie plates on to dinner plates and the filling stays inside the two crusts. The filling is the consistency of thick chowder so, if it was made in a large pie plate and wedges were cut, it is likely that it would not cut out well with the filling staying intact inside each pie wedge and, for lack of a better description, it would go “splat” when cut and transferred to a plate.

Individual chicken pot pie on white dinner plate with a small dish of cranberry sauce
Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

I have a supply of small tin pie plates I typically use for these pies but tinfoil meat pie plates work equally well and, if I run out of the tin plates, I do use the tinfoil ones.  These will often be labeled as meat pie plates and can be obtained at reasonable prices at supermarkets and even dollar stores.

Eight mini tin and tinfoil pieplates on table
5″ Individual Pie Plates

 

Step 4 – Assemble the Pies

Place the cold filling in the prepared and chilled pie shells.  Cover with the top crust pastry.  Ensure there are slits in the top of the pastry to allow the steam to escape while the pies bake. Glaze the tops of the pies with an egg wash, if desired.  Use a light touch when applying the egg wash – don’t saturate the tops of the pies. The egg wash will add more color and a lovely gloss to the tops of the pies.  Place the unbaked pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the filling to settle and to chill the pastry.  This will help to reduce pastry shrinkage during baking.

Hands rolling pie pastry with small chicken pot pies in the foreground
Making Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies

Place the pies on one or two large baking sheets and transfer them to the lowest rack in the oven that has been preheated to 425°F. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 375°F and bake the pies for about 35-40 minutes or until the filling starts bubbling out through the steam vent holes in the tops of the pies. Using the bottom rack heats the bottoms of the pies, yielding a more crispy and stable crust.

These pies are best if they rest after baking for 15-20 minutes at room temperature before eating.  This allows the filling to set and the pie to be at comfortable eating temperature so its flavor is best enjoyed.

Two baked Chicken Pot Pies on brown background
Chicken Pot Pies

If making the pies to have for later use, freeze them unbaked then bake them from frozen state.  Allow an additional 10-15 minutes for the frozen pies to bake.

Individual chicken pot pie on white dinner plate with knife and fork in background
Chicken Pot Pie

These Chicken Pot Pies are part of my “batch cooking for the freezer” repertoire.  They are super handy to have on hand and make a weeknight dinner easy to pull together with minimal work and kitchen clean-up at the time.  The added bonus is the divine aroma in the house as the pies bake, whetting the appetite for a tasty dinner to enjoy.

[Printable recipe follows at end of post]

Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies

 Ingredients:

1 batch pastry (recipe follows)

1½ tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
½ cup onion, finely chopped
¾ cup carrots, diced into ¼“cubes
2/3 cup celery, finely chopped
¼ cup parsnip, diced into 1/8“ cubes
¼ cup turnip, diced into ¼“ cubes

2 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced or chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried summer savory
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 cup warm poultry stock (either chicken or turkey)
8 oz Russet potatoes, diced into ½” cubes (apx. 1 cup diced)

1 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour (or 1-to-1 gluten-free flour)
1½ tbsp cornstarch
2 cups warm poultry stock (either chicken or turkey)
1/2 cup whipping cream (35% M.F.)
2½ tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2½ tbsp medium cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1½ tbsp dry white wine (optional)
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and Pepper, to taste

2½ cups cooked diced chicken
½ cup frozen peas

 Method:

In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat then add the butter.  When butter is melted, add the onion, carrots, celery, parsnip, and turnip.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes.  Add the mushrooms, garlic, summer savory, oregano, and rosemary.  Cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring continuously.  Add 1 cup chicken or turkey stock and the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to low and simmer for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften.  Remove from heat.

While vegetables are cooking start preparing the sauce by heating second amount of oil in separate saucepan over medium heat.  Add the butter.  Stir in the flour and cornstarch (mixed together).  Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of warm chicken or turkey stock along with the whipping cream, cheeses, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, white wine, cayenne, parsley, and salt and pepper.  Reduce heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens to the consistency of a very thick chowder.

Add the cooked chicken and frozen peas to the saucepan or Dutch oven containing the vegetables.  Stir.  Pour the sauce into the mixture.  Stir. Remove from heat and cool for about ¾ hour at room temperature, stirring occasionally, then refrigerate until mixture is cold.

Pastry

Ingredients:

5 cups all-purpose flour (or, for gluten-free pastry, 5 cups gluten free 1-to-1 flour)
1¼ tsp salt
3 tsp granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup lard
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3¾ tsp vinegar
Enough ice-cold water to make 1 cup liquid (combined with egg and vinegar)

For egg wash:  1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp water (optional)

Method:

In medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together.  Cut the butter and lard into chunks and add to the flour.  With a pastry cutter, cut the butter and lard into the flour until the fats resemble the size of large peas.

In a measuring cup, whisk the egg and vinegar together.  Add enough cold water to measure 1 cup.  Add the egg-vinegar-water mixture to the flour, small amounts at a time, and mix with a fork.  Add only enough water that the dough clings together and can be formed into a ball.

Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces.  Form disk shapes with each piece. Wrap disks individually in plastic wrap or place, single layer, in large airtight container. Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill. Remove one disk at a time from the refrigerator and roll pastry to desired thickness, generally between 1/16”and 1/8” thickness. Transfer pastry to a 4” or 5” pie plate that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray or greased.  Cut off excess dough so pastry is flush with the pie plate edge.  Place pie shell in refrigerator to keep chilled. Repeat with remaining disks.

Prepare pastry for the top crusts in the same manner as for the bottom crust.  Remove pie shells from refrigerator and equally divide cold chicken filling between the prepared cold shells. Brush outside rim edges of bottom crust pastry along pie plate edge with a bit of water to moisten. Transfer rolled-out pastry to the top of pie filling in each pie plate. Trim excess pastry flush with the pie plate edge.  Press the edge of the pastry all around the pie plate rim with tines of fork to adhere top crust to bottom crust.  Cut slits in top of pie pastry to allow steam to escape as pie bakes. For additional venting, prick each pie in several places with tines of a fork.

For pastry egg wash, lightly beat the egg yolk with 1 tbsp water in a small bowl.  With a pastry brush, lightly brush the pie with the egg wash.

Place pies in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow filling to settle and to chill pastry to reduce shrinkage while pies bake.

While pies are chilling, place oven rack in lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Place pies on large baking sheet(s) and bake for 10 minutes then lower oven temperature to 375°F and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until filling is bubbling through slits in tops of pies.  For unbaked frozen pies, bake at same temperatures for approximately 50-55 minutes, or until filling is bubbling through slits in tops of pies.

Yield:  Ten – 4 or 5-inch individual pies

Note:  If making this recipe gluten free, ensure that all ingredients, not only the flour, called for in the recipe are gluten free.

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Double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies

Individual made-from-scratch double-crusted Chicken Pot Pies are chock full of poultry and vegetables in a delectable creamy filling, all encased between tender flaky pie crusts. The supreme comfort food!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword Chicken, chicken pot pies
Servings 10
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 batch pastry recipe follows
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup carrots, diced into ¼“cubes
  • 2/3 cup celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsnip, diced into 1/8“ cubes
  • ¼ cup turnip, diced into ¼“ cubes
  • 2 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp dried summer savory
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 cup warm poultry stock, either chicken or turkey
  • 8 oz Russet potatoes, diced into ½” cubes (apx. 1 cup diced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour or 1-to-1 gluten-free flour
  • tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups warm poultry stock, either chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream, 35% M.F.
  • tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • tbsp medium cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • tbsp dry white wine (optional)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • cups cooked diced chicken
  • ½ cup frozen peas

Pastry:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour or, for gluten-free pastry, 5 cups gluten free 1-to-1 flour
  • tsp salt
  • 3 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup lard
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • tsp vinegar
  • Enough ice-cold water to make 1 cup liquid (combined with egg and vinegar)
  • For egg wash: 1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp water (optional)

Instructions

  1. In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat then add the butter. When butter is melted, add the onion, carrots, celery, parsnip, and turnip. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, summer savory, oregano, and rosemary. Cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring continuously. Add 1 cup chicken or turkey stock and the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to low and simmer for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften. Remove from heat.
  2. While vegetables are cooking start preparing the sauce by heating second amount of oil in separate saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter. Stir in the flour and cornstarch (mixed together). Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of warm chicken or turkey stock along with the whipping cream, cheeses, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, white wine, cayenne, parsley, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens to the consistency of a very thick chowder.
  3. Add the cooked chicken and frozen peas to the saucepan or Dutch oven containing the vegetables. Stir. Pour the sauce into the mixture. Stir. Remove from heat and cool for about ¾ hour at room temperature, stirring occasionally, then refrigerate until mixture is cold.

Pastry:

  1. In medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together. Cut the butter and lard into chunks and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter, cut the butter and lard into the flour until the fats resemble the size of large peas.
  2. In a measuring cup, whisk the egg and vinegar together. Add enough cold water to measure 1 cup. Add the egg-vinegar-water mixture to the flour, small amounts at a time, and mix with a fork. Add only enough water that the dough clings together and can be formed into a ball.
  3. Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces. Form disk shapes with each piece. Wrap disks individually in plastic wrap or place, single layer, in large airtight container. Place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to chill. Remove one disk at a time from the refrigerator and roll pastry to desired thickness, generally between 1/16”and 1/8” thickness. Transfer pastry to a 4” or 5” pie plate that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray or greased. Cut off excess dough so pastry is flush with the pie plate edge. Place pie shell in refrigerator to keep chilled. Repeat with remaining disks.
  4. Prepare pastry for the top crusts in the same manner as for the bottom crust. Remove pie shells from refrigerator and equally divide cold chicken filling between the prepared cold shells. Brush outside rim edges of bottom crust pastry along pie plate edge with a bit of water to moisten. Transfer rolled-out pastry to the top of pie filling in each pie plate. Trim excess pastry flush with the pie plate edge. Press the edge of the pastry all around the pie plate rim with tines of fork to adhere top crust to bottom crust. Cut slits in top of pie pastry to allow steam to escape as pie bakes. For additional venting, prick each pie in several places with tines of a fork.
  5. For pastry egg wash, lightly beat the egg yolk with 1 tbsp water in a small bowl. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the pie with the egg wash.
  6. Place pies in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow filling to settle and to chill pastry to reduce shrinkage while pies bake.
  7. While pies are chilling, place oven rack in lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place pies on large baking sheet(s) and bake for 10 minutes then lower oven temperature to 375°F and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until filling is bubbling through slits in tops of pies. For unbaked frozen pies, bake at same temperatures for approximately 50-55 minutes, or until filling is bubbling through slits in tops of pies.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Ten – 4 or 5-inch individual pies

Note: If making this recipe gluten free, ensure that all ingredients, not only the flour, called for in the recipe are gluten free.

 

 

Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

I love a bowl of chili, especially on a cold fall or winter day.  I also like the chili to have lots of texture and flavour and to be well-filled, hearty, and not be too watery.  This recipe for Chicken and Pumpkin Chili has a lovely flavour profile owing to the selection of ingredients and a curated blend of spices to complement the core ingredients.

Chili
Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

Chili, with its Mexican influences, is essentially made of three basic ingredients – a protein, vegetables that typically include tomatoes and beans in addition to aromatics like onions, celery, and carrots and, of course, spices. What the cook does from there is basically the cook’s preferences and prerogative.

In this recipe for Chicken and Pumpkin Chili, I am using ground chicken (though you could use ground turkey) and sausage meat as the protein base. Tomatoes, both tomato paste and tomato sauce, and red kidney beans are used to give the chili its hearty base.  I am, however, adding a few different ingredients that one might not necessarily think of as typical chili ingredients.

The first is pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling which is something entirely different).  Not only does the pumpkin purée add a lovely subtle layer of flavour but it enhances the chili’s texture.  I also add a half cup of dry red wine and a tablespoon of cocoa, both of which will add depth and richness of flavour to the chili.  The cocoa will counteract fat from the meat and will help to balance out the typical flavours of the chili such as saltiness and sweetness from the other ingredients. It will also intensify the flavours and offer a more dimensional flavour profile in the chili as opposed to a one-dimensional taste.

Chili
Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

I don’t care for the chili to be too spicy so I tend to go light on the chili powder.  However, if you like the chili a bit more spicy, by all means, increase the amount of chili powder called for in the recipe. The other spices I add are small amounts of oregano, basil, cumin, cayenne, and pumpkin pie spice which is a nod to the addition of the pumpkin purée. The addition of oregano and basil will provide some herbal notes while the cumin will offer some smoky undertones and the cayenne a bit of heat to go along with the chili powder.

Make sure the spices get added to the mixture before the liquids because they will have a chance to coat the ingredients and will release their flavours better than adding them after the liquids have been added.  At that point, all the spices do is float around in the liquid and their flavours won’t be as intense.

Chili
Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

This Chicken and Pumpkin Chili can be served plain or with a dollop of sour cream, some shredded cheddar cheese, and sliced green onions.  It is also good served with tortilla chips.  The chili freezes very well and may be reheated in the microwave.

This Chicken and Pumpkin Chili is also great for taking along to potlucks or any casual get-togethers.

Chili
Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

 

[Printable Recipe Follows at End of Post]

Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients:

1 tbsp oil
8 oz/225g ground chicken
4 oz/113g sausage meat, removed from casing

1 – 1½ tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter

½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz/113g button mushrooms, quartered or sliced

1½ – 2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp basil
¼ – ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp salt
Pepper, to taste
½ tbsp cocoa

1 cup chicken or turkey stock (or 3 tsp liquid chicken bouillon mixed in 1 cup boiling water)
½ cup dry red wine
1 – 19 oz/540ml can diced tomatoes with juice
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup tomato sauce
½ cup pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
2 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
1 bay leaf

1 – 14 oz/398ml can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Method:

Heat oil in skillet.  Crumble the ground chicken and sausage meat into the skillet.  Scramble fry meat until browned, about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula. Drain and set meat aside.

Heat 1–1½ tbsp oil in heavy Dutch oven or medium-sized stock pot over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tbsp butter.  Reduce heat to medium and add the onion, celery, and carrot.  Cook the aromatics for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion starts to become transparent.  Add the minced garlic and mushrooms.  Stir mixture briskly for 1-2 minutes longer, ensuring the garlic does not scorch.  Stir in the chili powder, spices, salt, pepper, and cocoa. Add the browned meat to the pot.

Add the chicken or turkey stock, red wine, diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, tomato sauce, pumpkin purée, and brown sugar or maple syrup to the meat mixture. Stir.  Add bay leaf.  Cover and increase heat to bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until chili thickens, about 45-50 minutes.  Add the drained and rinsed kidney beans.  Simmer, partially covered, for 10-15 minutes more, until beans are heated. Remove and discard bay leaf and ladle chili into bowls.  Top with a dollop of sour cream, green onions, and/or shredded cheese, if desired.  Served with artisan bread or rolls or tortilla chips. This chili freezes well in airtight containers.

Yield:  Approximately 6 servings

Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

This hearty chili is made with ground chicken, sausage meat, pumpkin purée, and a select blend of spices to create a flavorful one-pot meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 8 oz/225g ground chicken
  • 4 oz/113g sausage meat removed from casing
  • 1 – 1½ tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup onion chopped
  • ½ cup celery chopped
  • ½ cup carrot diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 oz/113g button mushrooms quartered or sliced
  • 1½ - 2 tsp chili powder or to taste
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ¼ - ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • ½ tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup chicken or turkey stock or 3 tsp liquid chicken bouillon mixed in 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 – 19 oz/540ml can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup pumpkin purée not pie filling
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 – 14 oz/398ml can red kidney beans drained and rinsed

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in skillet. Crumble the ground chicken and sausage meat into the skillet. Scramble fry meat until browned, about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula. Drain and set meat aside.
  2. Heat 1 – 1½ tbsp oil in heavy Dutch oven or medium-sized stock pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp butter. Reduce heat to medium and add the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook the aromatics for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion starts to become transparent. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms. Stir mixture briskly for 1-2 minutes longer, ensuring the garlic does not scorch. Stir in the chili powder, spices, salt, pepper, and cocoa. Add the browned meat to the pot.
  3. Add the chicken or turkey stock, red wine, diced tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, tomato sauce, pumpkin purée, and brown sugar or maple syrup to the meat mixture. Stir. Add bay leaf. Cover and increase heat to bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until chili thickens, about 45-50 minutes. Add the drained and rinsed kidney beans. Simmer, partially covered, for 10-15 minutes more, until beans are heated. Remove and discard bay leaf and ladle chili into bowls. Top with a dollop of sour cream, green onions, and/or shredded cheese, if desired. Served with artisan bread or rolls or tortilla chips. This chili freezes well in airtight containers.

Recipe Notes

Yield: Approximately 6 servings

For my traditional Chili recipe, click here.

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Chili
Chicken and Pumpkin Chili

 

Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-vent Recipe

Creamed Chicken
Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-vent

One of my favorite recipes is Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-vent. Some may know this as “creamed chicken”.  I actually make up a large batch of this delectable dish and freeze it in serving-sized portions.  It makes a quick and easy meal when all that has to be done is bake the frozen patty shells, heat up the creamed mixture, and toss a green salad.

Creamed Chicken
Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-Vent

This recipe makes four generous servings. The great thing about this recipe is that it is a good way to use up cooked chicken if you have any or, if time is limited, it can even be made with a rotisserie chicken from the deli.  Even though it is called “chicken” vol-au-vent, turkey can certainly be used as well.

While my preference is to use the puff pasty shells, commonly called “patty shells”, because they are light, airy, and ever-so-flaky, this creamed chicken mixture can also be served over toast points or biscuits fresh from the oven. I have even used appetizer-sized patty shells to serve this dish as part of a savory course for an afternoon tea. Fancy enough for company fare but easy enough for a weeknight meal.

Creamed Chicken
Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-vent

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-vent Recipe

Ingredients

Sauce:
2-3 tbsp butter
3½ tbsp all-purpose flour
¾ cup chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
1 tbsp cooking sherry (optional)
¼ tsp garlic salt
Sprinkle pepper
Dash of paprika
2-3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Filling:
2-3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp red pepper, finely chopped
3 tbsp celery, finely chopped
6-8 small white button mushrooms, sliced

1 cup cooked chicken, cubed

4 frozen puff pastry patty shells (or, alternatively, biscuits or toast cups)

Method:

Sauce: In medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour. Combine the chicken broth, milk, and sherry and whisk into the flour-butter mixture, whisking until smooth. Season with garlic salt, pepper, and paprika.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened.  Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until cheese is melted.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Filling: In medium-sized frypan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, red pepper, celery, and mushrooms.  Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Add the chicken and toss just until heated.

Assembly:  Bake patty shells according to package directions.  Add sautéed vegetables and chicken to the sauce. Stir gently to combine. Heat over medium-low heat to ensure all ingredients are heated.  Spoon hot mixture into baked patty shells.  Serve with a side salad.

Yield: 4 generous servings

Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-vent Recipe

An easy-to-make delectable creamed chicken filling encased in light and flaky puff pastry shells. Perfect for company fare but easy enough for weeknight meals.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken, Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-Vent, Vol-au-Vent
Servings 4
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp cooking sherry optional
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • Sprinkle pepper
  • Dash of paprika
  • 2-3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Filling:

  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp red pepper finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp celery finely chopped
  • 6-8 small white button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup cooked chicken cubed

Instructions

Sauce: In medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Combine the chicken broth, milk, and sherry and whisk into the flour-butter mixture, whisking until smooth. Season with garlic salt, pepper, and paprika. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

    Filling: In medium-sized frypan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, red pepper, celery, and mushrooms. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken and toss just until heated.

      Assembly: Bake patty shells according to package directions. Add sautéed vegetables and chicken to the sauce. Stir gently to combine. Heat over medium-low heat to ensure all ingredients are heated. Spoon hot mixture into baked patty shells. Serve with a side salad.

         

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        Creamed Chicken
        Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-Vent

        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole Recipe

        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole

        Casserole recipes are useful for the home cook’s meal planning. They are a convenient entrée for a dinner meal, can be prepared ahead of time, are often a great way to use leftovers and re-purpose them into a new entrée, and they can stretch the food dollar.  My Chicken Chow Mein Casserole is one that fits that bill nicely.

        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole

        This casserole will easily feed four people and there might be some left over for someone’s lunch the next day! This recipe calls for cooked chicken but I often substitute turkey if I have some left over from a roasted turkey.  All it takes is one cup cubed chicken which is what one good-sized chicken breast will yield. So, when you think about it – if you were to serve chicken breasts for a family of four, you would need to buy four chicken breasts for a meal. However, you can make this casserole with one good-sized chicken breast and still feed four people (see what I mean about extending the food dollar).

        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole

        This recipe does not take a lot of costly ingredients which makes it economical to make. Apart from the chicken breast, only celery, onion, mushrooms, a tin of cream of chicken soup, a bit of chicken broth, some garlic, red pepper, a few sliced water chestnuts (which are optional and I buy when they are on sale), some cashew pieces, and chow mein noodles are required as ingredients.

        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole

        For the chicken, you can use leftover chicken (or turkey) from a roasted foul, poach a chicken breast, or even use some meat from a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.  The casserole itself is not difficult to prepare. Sauté the vegetables, open a can of soup, combine all the ingredients into a casserole, and bake in the oven.

        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole

        This Chicken Chow Mein Casserole can be made several hours ahead, or even the night before, so it’s ready to pop into the oven when you get home from work.

        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole

        [Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole

        Ingredients:

        1 cup cooked chicken, cubed

        3 tbsp butter
        2 cloves garlic, minced
        ¼ cup chopped onion
        1 cup chopped celery
        ¼ cup diced red pepper
        2½ oz sliced mushrooms (about ¾ cup)

        ½ cup chicken broth
        1 – 284ml tin Cream of Chicken Soup
        1/8 tsp ground ginger
        2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

        ½ cup cashew pieces, chopped
        2½ oz (72 g) sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed

        2½ oz chow mein noodles (reserve 1 oz for casserole topping)

        Method:

        Grease 1½ quart casserole and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.

        Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.  Sauté garlic, onion, celery, red pepper, and mushrooms, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes, just until the onions are transparent.

        Combine the chicken broth and soup together in bowl or large measuring cup.  Stir in the ground ginger and Parmesan cheese. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to large bowl and add the chicken, soup mixture, cashew pieces, and water chestnuts. Mix together.  Carefully fold in 1½ oz chow mein noodles.  Transfer mixture to prepared casserole and sprinkle with remaining 1 oz chow mein noodles. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until casserole is hot and bubbly.

        Yield:  Apx. 4 servings

        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole

        An easy-to-prepare flavorful casserole that makes great use of leftover chicken.
        Course Main Course
        Servings 4
        Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

        Ingredients

        • 1 cup cooked chicken, cubed
        • 3 tbsp butter
        • 2 cloves garlic, minced
        • 1/4 cup chopped onion
        • 1 cup chopped celery
        • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
        • 2.5 oz sliced mushrooms (about 3/4 cup)
        • 1/2 cup chicken broth
        • 1 284ml tin Cream of Chicken Soup
        • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
        • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
        • 1/2 cup cashew pieces, chopped
        • 2 1/2 oz sliced water chestnuts, drained and rinsed
        • 2.5 oz chow mein noodles (reserve 1 oz for casserole topping)

        Instructions

        1. Grease 1½ quart casserole and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F.
        2. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion, celery, red pepper, and mushrooms, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes, just until the onions are transparent.

        3. Combine the chicken broth and soup together in bowl or large measuring cup. Stir in the ground ginger and Parmesan cheese. Transfer the sautéed vegetables to large bowl and add the chicken, soup mixture, cashew pieces, and water chestnuts. Mix together. Carefully fold in 1½ oz chow mein noodles. Transfer mixture to prepared casserole and sprinkle with remaining 1 oz chow mein noodles.
        4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until casserole is hot and bubbly.

         

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        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole
        Chicken Chow Mein Casserole

        Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

        Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Orange Star Anise Vinaigrette
        Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

        We grow a garden and live out of it in the summer. We grow lots of different varieties of lettuce and so salads are an almost daily part of our menu.

        Lettuce from our Garden
        Lettuce from our Garden

        On hot summer days, I love to make what I call a main meal salad. I simply take a meat platter and lay a layer of mixed greens down the center bordered by a row of quinoa along both sides of the lettuce bed. I often marinate and cook chicken breasts then slice them for salads as I have done here.  I use whatever fruit I have on hand or that is in season to make a colorful and healthy salad. It could be strawberries, mango, melons, oranges or mandarins, blueberries, peaches, raspberries, and so forth.  Add some red onion rings, crumbled feta cheese, and top with crunchy pea and radish shoots and you have a very colorful, appetizing, and healthy dinner.

        Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Orange Star Anise Vinagrette
        Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinagrette

        What makes the salad super tasty is the vinaigrette.

        Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette
        Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

        For this recipe,  start with 3 tablespoons of orange juice and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and add a small star anise pod and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let the juice cool. This allows the star anise to infuse the juice with a lovely subtle layer of licorice flavor. Discard the star anise and mix the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar and shake vigorously.  If adding fresh herbs, only add them at the time of serving as, otherwise, they become quite limp and wilted.

        Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette
        Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

        Now, I don’t tend to measure the ingredients for the salad itself. I go to the garden and pick a couple of handfuls of different kinds of lettuce. For a main meal serving for two, I cook 1/2 cup of quinoa and a large chicken breast. For the fruits, just add as many of each kind as you like and the same for the pea and radish shoots.  I don’t grow these shoots – I get them from Just A Little Farm in Bonshaw.  You can click here to read the story I wrote about this farm. Jessica grows the most amazing produce and her pea and radish shoots are so lovely crisp and fresh!

        Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette
        Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

        This recipe will yield a generous main meal for two or, if serving as a starter, it could serve 4-6.

        [Printable Recipe Follows at end of Posting]

        Orange and Star Anise Vinaigrette

        Ingredients:
        3 tbsp orange juice
        1 small star anise pod
        ¼ cup olive oil
        1 tbsp red wine vinegar
        2 tsp Dijon mustard
        2 tsp liquid honey
        ¼ tsp garlic salt
        Salt and pepper, to taste
        Fresh herbs (e.g., parsley, thyme, dill), chopped

        Method:

        In small saucepan, bring orange juice to boiling point over medium heat.  Reduce heat to simmer and add the star anise pod.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely, allowing the star anise to infuse the orange juice. Remove and discard star anise after orange juice has cooled.

        Combine all ingredients, except the fresh herbs, in a small jar. Shake vigorously.  Add the chopped herbs at time of serving.

        Yield: Apx. scant ½ cup

        Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

        Yield: Scant 1/2 cup

        A tasty vinaigrette with subtle undertones of licorice flavor. Perfect accompaniment to any salad but especially good with Chicken and Quinoa Salad

        Ingredients

        • 3 tbsp orange juice
        • 1 small star anise pod
        • ¼ cup olive oil
        • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
        • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
        • 2 tsp liquid honey
        • ¼ tsp garlic salt
        • Salt and pepper, to taste
        • Fresh herbs (e.g., parsley, thyme, dill), chopped

        Instructions

        1. In small saucepan, bring orange juice to boiling point over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer and add the star anise pod. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely, allowing the star anise to infuse the orange juice. Remove and discard star anise after orange juice has cooled.
        2. Combine all ingredients, except the fresh herbs, in a small jar. Shake vigorously. Add the chopped herbs at time of serving.
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        Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Star Anise and Orange Vinaigrette

        Asparagus-stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe

        Asparagus
        Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

        Asparagus is one of the most versatile vegetables, both in the ways in which it can be prepared and the ingredients with which it can be paired. Locally, in Atlantic Canada, asparagus has a very short growing season in late May/early June and it is a harbinger of wonderful produce to come from the land. And, as we all know, fresh, locally-grown produce is always best.  I am very lucky to live not far from an Island farmer, Tim Dixon, who grows asparagus and sells it at the farm gate – this means I’m buying produce that has just been harvested and has not lost its freshness through several days of transit to reach me. It also means I know where my food is coming from and, at the same time, I am supporting the local food movement with no middle men involved.

        I like to feature asparagus in springtime on my dinner table and, this year, I have chosen to combine Boursin cheese, prosciutto, and chicken breasts with the asparagus.  This stuffed chicken breast can be served whole or it can be sliced into 3/4″ slices and served on either a bed of rice or on a green salad.  The latter is quite colorful as it shows the green asparagus stuffing.

        asparagus
        Slices of asparagus-stuffed chicken breast

        This is not a difficult recipe to make and I hope you enjoy it, especially when the flavorful local asparagus is available in your region. I chose to pair this entrée with New Harbour Sauvignon Blanc (NZ 2013). This wine with its citrus, passionfruit, and guava notes, has a lovely crisp finish that compliments chicken quite well.

        Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe

        (printable version of recipe follows at end of posting)

        Ingredients:

        2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts
        Salt and pepper
        3 tbsp Boursin cheese (French cream cheese), garlic and herb flavor
        1 – 2 tsp olive oil
        10 fresh asparagus spears tossed lightly in apx. 1 tsp olive oil
        2 thin slices prosciutto
        3 tbsp flour
        1 extra large egg, beaten
        ¼ cup fine bread crumbs
        2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
        1-2 tbsp cooking oil

        Method:

        Preheat oven to 375° and grease an 8”x8” baking pan.

        Individually, place each chicken breast inside a plastic freezer bag and, using a meat mallet, flatten the chicken breast to approximately ¼” thick.  Season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper.

        In small bowl, mix the Boursin cheese with just enough olive oil to make the cheese barely of spreading consistency.  Leaving about a ½” border on the edges of each chicken breast, divide the cheese equally between the two chicken pieces and evenly spread the cheese on each chicken breast.

        Snap off the woody ends of each asparagus spear at their natural breaking point and discard. In medium-sized bowl, lightly coat the  spears with a teaspoon of olive oil (focus mainly on coating the tips of the asparagus that will be exposed during the baking). Lay five asparagus spears on each piece of prosciutto and roll the meat tightly around the spears.  Lay each bundle of spears on one long side of each flattened chicken breast and roll the chicken around the bundles tightly, leaving  the tips of the asparagus exposed .  Secure chicken pieces with two lengths of baker’s string.

        In separate shallow bowls, large enough to accommodate the chicken pieces, place the flour in one bowl, the beaten egg in another, and mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in the third bowl.

        Heat cooking oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Dip each chicken breast in the flour, then in the egg, and then roll in the bread crumbs-parmesan cheese mixture, being careful not to coat the tips of the asparagus spears.  Transfer chicken pieces to hot skillet.  Reduce heat to medium and brown the chicken pieces, turning them so that all sides of the chicken breasts brown evenly, about 1 minute per side.  Transfer chicken breasts to prepared baking pan and bake in pre-heated oven until internal temperature of chicken registers at least 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer.

        Remove baker’s string from each breast. To serve, lay chicken breast over steamed rice or, alternatively, let the chicken pieces rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board then, with a sharp knife, cut into slices, approximately ¾” thick and serve over rice or a green salad.

        Yield:  2 servings

        Asparagus-stuffed Chicken Breasts by My Island Bistro Kitchen
        Chicken Breast Stuffed with Asparagus

        Asparagus-stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe

        Yield: 2 servings

        Tasty chicken breasts stuffed with asparagus, prosciutto, and Boursin cheese - easy enough to make for weeknight dinners but fancy enough for company fare!

        Ingredients

        • 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts
        • Salt and pepper
        • 3 tbsp Boursin cheese (French cream cheese), garlic and herb flavor
        • 1 - 2 tsp olive oil
        • 10 fresh asparagus spears tossed lightly in apx. 1 tsp olive oil
        • 2 thin slices prosciutto
        • 3 tbsp flour
        • 1 extra large egg, beaten
        • ¼ cup fine bread crumbs
        • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
        • 1-2 tbsp cooking oil

        Instructions

        1. Preheat oven to 375° and grease an 8”x8” baking pan.
        2. Individually, place each chicken breast inside a plastic freezer bag and, using a meat mallet, flatten the chicken breast to approximately ¼” thick. Season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper.
        3. In small bowl, mix the Boursin cheese with just enough olive oil to make the cheese barely of spreading consistency. Leaving about a ½” border on the edges of each chicken breast, divide the cheese equally between the two chicken pieces and evenly spread the cheese on each chicken breast.
        4. Snap off the woody ends of each asparagus spear at their natural breaking point and discard. In medium-sized bowl, lightly coat the asparagus spears with a teaspoon of olive oil (focus mainly on coating the tips of the asparagus that will be exposed during the baking). Lay five asparagus spears on each piece of prosciutto and roll the meat tightly around the asparagus. Lay each bundle of spears on one long side of each flattened chicken breast and roll the chicken around the bundles tightly, leaving the tips of the asparagus exposed. Secure chicken pieces with two lengths of baker’s string.
        5. In separate shallow bowls, large enough to accommodate the chicken pieces, place the flour in one bowl, the beaten egg in another, and mix the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in the third bowl.
        6. Heat cooking oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip each chicken breast in the flour, then in the egg, and then roll in the bread crumbs-parmesan cheese mixture, being careful not to coat the tips of the asparagus spears. Transfer chicken pieces to hot skillet. Reduce heat to medium and brown the chicken pieces, turning them so that all sides of the chicken breasts brown evenly, about 1 minute per side. Transfer chicken breasts to prepared baking pan and bake in pre-heated oven until internal temperature of chicken registers at least 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer.
        7. Remove baker’s string from each breast. To serve, lay chicken breast over steamed rice or, alternatively, let the chicken pieces rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board then, with a sharp knife, cut into slices, approximately ¾” thick and serve over rice or a green salad.
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        Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
        Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
        Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Asparagus by My Island Bistro Kitchen
        Asparagus-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

        Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts

        It’s maple syrup time!  Finally, a harbinger of spring and those of us on the East Coast of Canada need something sweet after the wicked winter we have just come through!

        Today, I am featuring a product that is new to me and it comes from Lake Paul in Nova Scotia – PURE™ Infused Maple Syrup.  We are all familiar with the traditional maple syrup but PURE™ Infused takes it up a notch by infusing other flavours into the syrup, making it more versatile for culinary use.  They produce five unique flavors:  Vanilla, Cinnamon and Star Anise; Lavender & Chai; Cinnamon, Nutmeg & Cloves; Chipotle and Lemongrass; and Maple Gastrique (Maple Syrup, Ginger & Apple Cider Vinegar) which is the flavour I am using in my recipe today.

        I like this product.  It has a nice blend of flavours and the sweetness of the maple syrup balances well with the tartness of the cider vinegar and spiciness of the ginger.  This lends a depth and complexity of flavour to my recipe.   For more information on PURE™ Infused and their products, visit their website.

        My Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts recipe is easy to make. I like chicken but, to be frank, it can be kind of bland if you don’t add some flavour to it so I am combining maple, orange, and ginger in this stovetop creation.

        But first, some notes about this recipe.  I use liquid chicken bouillon for chicken stock in the recipe.  Traditionally, the ratio is 2 teaspoons of the bouillon concentrate to 1 cup of water; however, I find deeper  flavour if I use 3 teaspoons of the concentrate per cup of water.    When making the thickener for the sauce, combine the cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold chicken stock and whisk it well to ensure it is smooth.  It is very important that the cold mixture be “tempered” by adding some hot liquid – about 1 tablespoon or so — before pouring it into the hot mixture in the frying pan as, otherwise, it will be lumpy.

        I am a big fan of digital instant read meat thermometers for ensuring chicken is properly cooked.  The chicken breasts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.

        DSC_0336

        Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts

        Ingredients:

        4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (apx. 2 lbs)
        salt and pepper
        olive oil

        1½ tsp garlic, minced
        ⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
        2 tbsp fennel, finely chopped
        ⅓ cup orange juice
        ½ tbsp grated orange rind
        1¼ cups chicken stock (reserve ¼ cup)
        ½ cup PURE™ Maple Gastrique (Maple Syrup, Ginger & Apple Cider Vinegar)
        1 tsp ground ginger
        ⅓ cup orange marmalade
        2 tbsp cornstarch (mixed with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock)

        Method:

        Assemble ingredients.

        Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts. Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in large frying pan. Add the chicken breasts and quickly brown 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once.

        Transfer chicken to heat-proof plate and tent with tin foil to keep chicken warm.

        Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté the garlic, onion, and fennel, just until onion is transparent, adding more olive oil if necessary.

        page 1 - Onions garlic and fennel

        In bowl or large measuring cup, combine the orange juice, orange rind, 1 cup of chicken stock, maple syrup, ginger, and marmalade.

        Pour sauce ingredients into frying pan.

        Over medium heat, heat the mixture to boiling, then add the chicken breasts, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook chicken slowly for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning and basting chicken with the sauce 2-3 times.

        In small dish, whisk together the cornstarch with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock. Add apx. 1 tbsp of the hot liquid to the cornstarch mixture to temper it and whisk well until mixture is smooth. Stir into hot mixture.

        Continue cooking chicken, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened and internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer.

        Serving suggestion: Serve over a bed of hot steamed rice with a side of your favourite vegetable.

        Yield: 4 servings


        Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts
        My Island Bistro Kitchen:
        4 servings
        Ingredients
        • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (apx. 2 lbs)
        • salt and pepper
        • olive oil
        • 1½ tsp garlic, minced
        • ⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
        • 2 tbsp fennel, finely chopped
        • ⅓ cup orange juice
        • ½ tbsp grated orange rind
        • 1¼ cups chicken stock (reserve ¼ cup)
        • ½ cup PURE™ Maple Gastrique
        • 1 tsp ground ginger
        • ⅓ cup orange marmalade
        • 2 tbsp cornstarch (mixed with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock)
        Instructions
        1. Salt and pepper both sides of chicken breasts.
        2. Over medium-high heat, heat olive oil in large frying pan.
        3. Add the chicken breasts and quickly brown 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once.
        4. Transfer chicken breasts to heat-proof plate and tent with tin foil to keep chicken warm.
        5. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté the garlic, onion, and fennel, just until onion is transparent, adding more olive oil if necessary.
        6. In bowl or large measuring cup, combine the orange juice, orange rind, 1 cup of chicken stock, maple syrup, ginger, and marmalade. Pour into frying pan.
        7. Over medium heat, heat sauce to boiling, then add the chicken breasts, cover, and reduce heat to simmer.
        8. Cook chicken slowly for approximately 10-12 minutes, turning and basting chicken with the sauce 2-3 times.
        9. In small dish, whisk together the cornstarch with the reserved ¼ cup cold chicken stock. Add apx. 1 tbsp of the hot liquid to the cornstarch mixture and whisk well until mixture is smooth. Stir into hot mixture.
        10. Continue cooking chicken, stirring occasionally until sauce is thickened and internal temperature of the chicken breasts reaches 165°F on a meat thermometer.

         

        Disclosure:  The Maple Gastrique used in this recipe was provided to me, free of charge, from  PURE™ Infused for the purposes of sampling it and creating a recipe with the syrup.  The recipe for Maple Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts in this posting is an original recipe developed by me in my home kitchen.

        ———————-

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        Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts
        Maple-Orange Sauced Chicken Breasts

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