The Weekend Gourmet: A Simple and Elegant Thanksgiving Appetizer: Creamy Chicken and Cranberry Puff Pastry Bites F

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Simple and Elegant Thanksgiving Appetizer: Creamy Chicken and Cranberry Puff Pastry Bites

I’m still shaking my head in disbelief that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK! It seems like it was just Labor Day, and now the holidays are nearly upon us again. This year, we’re headed to Houston for a quickie overnight trip to celebrate and watch the Texans-Lions game with family. That means I’m not cooking the big meal this year…but I plan to take an easy appetizer to share with everyone. It needs to be simple to make but pack a lot of Wow Factor. I found just the thing in a cookbook from Philadelphia Cream Cheese: Creamy Chicken and Cranberry Puff Pastry Bites. Using frozen puff pastry and other convenience products saved me a ton of time, but I promise the end results will have everybody talking.

One of my favorite holiday secrets is puff pastry…I always have a package in my freezer. It saves a ton of time in the kitchen, and the results are always perfect: golden brown and crispy! These little bites take about 15 minutes to assemble and bake for 15 minutes, so you can have them plated and ready to feed a hungry crowd in about 30 minutes! These are simple, but elegant appetizers…and the cranberry sets the mood for the upcoming meal! I made two minor additions to the original recipe: I sprinkled the puff pastry squares with dried chives and parsley, and I sprinkled some chopped California walnuts on top for extra crunch and flavor. Let me show you just how simple they are to whip up.

Creamy Chicken and Cranberry Puff Pastry Bites
adapted from Spread a Little Joy

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400. Spread half a package of puff pastry dough on a large cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a Silpat. Cut the puff pastry into 12 squares. Sprinkle each square with dried chives and parsley.


Step 2: Add a dollop of whipped Philadelphia Cream Cheese to each square -- about 1.5 tsp. Top with shredded rotisserie chicken breast and whole-berry cranberry sauce. Finally, sprinkle some chopped California walnuts on top of each pastry.


Step 3: As you can see above, some of the juice from the cranberry sauce leaked onto the puff pastry. Drain it as well as possible, but don't worry if it drains like some of mine did...it'll still bake up nice and golden. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the puff pastry is golden. Turn the pan around halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. The cream cheese is lava-hot when the pan comes out of the oven, so make sure to let the bites cool for a few minutes before serving.


This is my kind of appetizer: simple to make, great presentation, and lots of flavor. A few simple ingredients combine to make a perfect little bite: warm cream cheese sweet-tart cranberries, and toasted walnuts combine really nicely with the roasted chicken. The puff pastry cooks up golden and crispy, making a great base. I loved this flavor combo, and the squares look so pretty on the plate. If you like brie en croute, this will be right up your alley! I hope that appetizer makes an appearance on your Thanksgiving menu next week...let me know if you try it!

8 comments:

  1. We are on the same page this year!! I have something similar... but I love the addition of the turkey!
    Another thought... for those awesome Peppermint Chocolate Truffles we both made last year, you have to try them with the Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's. Haven't seen them in the store yet, but keep your eye out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to TJs again this weekend...when I have time to contend with the Grand Opening crowds.Maybe the peppermint Joe Joes will be out!

      Delete
  2. Wendy, I think you'll be a big hit. This could be a Thanksgiving meal on it's own!

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    Replies
    1. They are very good...and quite filling. I think they'd be a nice addition to a Thanksgiving appetizer table while the rest of the meal cooks!

      Delete
  3. I can't believe it either. Christmas is just around the corner This is a great recipe for leftover turkey too, I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You could cut the squares bigger and make it an open-faced post-Thanksgiving lunch the next day...or even make them into turnovers. Great idea...I just loved these, but melty cream cheese is a huge favorite of mine!

      Delete
  4. Mmmmm....I love appetizers made with puffed pastry...and these look so yummy with especially with cranberry sauce and cream cheese!

    ReplyDelete

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