Poached Chicken Puff Pastry Squares
September 26, 2014
What 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.
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.
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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