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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chicken Vegetable Croissant Loaf

Another recipe from my new cookbook, Fresh from the Farmer's Market.  I've fiddled just a bit with the recipe to make it a bit more svelte.  The OR calls for mayo, and I'm substituting light sour cream for a lot less fat and fewer calories.  I also skew the ratio of vegetables to chicken more heavily in the vegetable direction than the OR. 
Chicken Croissant Loaf with swiss chard

You can prep this dish ahead in a variety of ways.  Prepare the filling and fridge or freeze it (another benefit of using sour cream over mayo...mayo breaks badly in the freezer) separately from the dough, assembling and baking at the last minute.  You can also assemble the loaf up to the point of brushing the top with egg white and sprinkling with almonds and fridge it, covered in plastic wrap, until ready to bake.  I don't see any reason you couldn't freeze the assembled loaf, but I've not actually tried doing it so that is merely speculation.  If you fridge or freeze prior to baking, transfer the parchment paper and loaf to a room temp baking sheet rather than baking on the chilly sheet on which you stored/thawed the loaf.  You could also bake this off and reheat at 350F for 15 minutes or so.

A note on the croissant/crescent roll dough.  If you're a fantastic baker, by all means, make your own croissant dough.  Or another type of bread dough.  I buy 2 tubes of crescent rolls at the grocery store.  I have occasionally seen tubes of unperforated crescent roll dough...if you find that product, it's perfect for this recipe.  Otherwise you'll need to smoosh the seams on the unrolled crescent rolls to form a more-or-less solid sheet of pastry.

Chicken Vegetable Croissant Loaf
Makes 6 dinner servings or 12 appetizer servings

1 chicken breast (about 6 oz), baked and finely diced
1 cup broccoli, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch salt and pepper
1 cup low-fat shredded Cheddar
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 8 oz. tubes crescent roll dough
1 egg white
2 tbsp sliced almonds

Finely chop chicken, broccoli, carrot and pepper by hand or in a food processor (if using food processor, be careful not to overprocess).  Stir in garlic and spices.  Stir in cheese and sour cream.  Fridge or freeze now, if desired.

On a large piece of parchment paper, unroll crescent dough and lightly pinch perforated seams to seal.  Join the two rolls the long edge to form a large rectangle.  Using the back of a knife, mark two lines lengthwise on the rectangle, dividing it into thirds.  Cut the outer thirds horizontally into 1" strips.

Spoon filling (thawed, if necessary) down the middle, uncut third of the rectangle. 

Fold the strips over the filling, alternating sides.  Angle each fold slightly downward to give a braided look.  If the crescent dough seams come apart a bit, it's ok.  Continue until all strips are folded.  Fridge or freeze now, if desired.

Trim parchment paper to fit a sheet pan.  Slide the paper and loaf onto the pan without trying to remove the loaf from the parchment.  Brush with egg white, and sprinkle with almonds.  Bake 30-35 minutes at 375F.
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  1. Do you think this would work with phyllo dough?

    1. If you did it with phyllo, I think you'd need to do it as packets (a la Phyllo-Wrapped Salmon) rather than one big loaf. Or do it in a 8x8 pan...put several buttered sheets of phyllo in the pan, top with filling, and top with several more sheets of phyllo-n-butter. That's how I would proceed with that variation.