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Poached Chicken Puff Pastry Squares

Chicken Puff PastryWhat type of food do you offer friends when you entertain? I usually end up cooking a variety of small dishes like this one, or food that guests can assemble themselves. Maybe this is because I have trouble narrowing down what to make!  A new recipe or a proven favorite?? A range of small dishes, or finger food nibbles provide a variety, something for everyone including the children. Your friends can also eat as much, or as little, as they would like. They also get to try some ingredients and food that they may not necessarily try at home. I don’t know about you, but I have to keep a running list of foods that each of our friends and their partners dislike to ensure that I do not serve a range of dishes that feature ingredients those ingredients when they visit.
Entertaining at this point in our lives involves friends visiting us on the weekend for a meal – lunch or dinner. We then switch the next time and visit them. With two young children, and living an hour or more away from our closest friends, this is the simplest (and most relaxing) way for everyone to keep in touch with people.

This recipe was inspired by a method I first saw on my recent visit to Tamborine Cooking School. The host and owner of Tamborine Cooking School, Terri, showed us how to make a beetroot tart like this.  She described them as square vol au vents.  I have used the same process, modifying the ingredients to include produce that I had on available from the garden.

Poached Chicken Puff Pastry Squares
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Juicy poached chicken breast and kale pesto topped with feta make a moreish combination on these puff pastry squares. Perfectly tasty finger food for entertaining, or a light weekend lunch.
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 13
  • 3 sheets of puff pastry - defrosted
  • 1 egg - whisked
  • Poached Chicken
  • 2 small chicken breasts
  • chicken stock (approximately 1 cup)
  • 6 stalks of fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • Kale Pesto
  • ½ cup of almonds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • pinch salt
  • 80 grams fresh kale
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch chilli flakes (optional)
  • To Serve:
  • feta cheese to serve
  • 2 - 3 pieces of fresh kale baked for 10 minutes until crisp (optional)
  1. Set the pastry squares on a clean bench area to defrost
  2. Add the chicken breast, stock, parsley, garlic and lemon juice and zest to a small saucepan. The stock should just cover the chicken.
  3. Bring the ingredients to the boil, turn off and cover with a lid for 20-25 minutes until the chicken has cooked through
  4. Remove from the liquid, drain and shred the chicken and set aside
  5. To make the kale pesto, add the almonds, garlic clove, salt, kale, juice and chilli flakes to a food processor and process to a thick paste
  6. Cut the sheets of pastry into 9 even sized squares = 27 squares in total
  7. Cut an additional smaller sized square out of the center of half of the squares (13)
  8. Lay one pastry square on a baking tray and brush with egg yolk
  9. Add another pastry square that has had the center cut out on top of the first square
  10. Add the kale pesto to the base of the square and bake 170 degrees 10 - 15 minutes
  11. Remove from the oven once the pastry is golden
  12. Add the shredded chicken to the top and then the baked kale and feta to serve
  13. Serve with a salad if desired
To free you from the kitchen on the day that you are entertaining you can prepare the chicken by poaching it the day prior. The pesto may also be made in advance.
You could add some of the chicken to the base prior to going into the oven. This will crisp the chicken. Because it is lovely and juicy after being poached it will dry out if you do this so it is best to add it at the end of the cooking process.
This recipe will leave you with some poached chicken left over, or you can add another pastry sheet to the recipe and make another 5 pieces.
Chicken Kale Pastry Squares

If you would prefer to use less pastry you may like to check out my recipe for Summer Garden Squares that makes a similar thing without combining two pieces of pastry. It is a single scored layer of pastry instead.

How do you entertain? Do you prefer to serve nibbles and finger food, or a full meal?





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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Krista September 26, 2014, 7:40 am

    I do like entertaining, very much. 🙂 I used to do huge dinner parties with upwards of 60 people, but now I prefer small ones where we can sit down and visit for hours. Nibbles are essential before dinner, and these are such nice ones. 🙂

    • Kyrstie Barcak September 26, 2014, 7:51 am

      Wow Krista, 60 people would freak me out I think! Have a great day. K x

  • lizzie @ strayedtable September 26, 2014, 11:57 am

    yummo, these look like the perfect way to start a meal. Easy to make too. I like cooking a meal for visitors and usually a cake. Nibbles are always essential it helps the beers go down according to my partner.

  • Bele @ BlahBlah September 28, 2014, 8:59 pm

    These look so good. I keep finding myself drawn to poached chicken dishes at the moment, clearly I’m in need of this x

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