Recipe: Chicken Pillow

Pillows stuffed with chickens

So making bread has been the obsession for couple of weeks. I had lots of experiments in the kitchen based on the recipes that I found in the web.

After several trials and error on the bread experiments (too yeasty, not fluffy, etc), I found that the recipe from this site: Mel’s Kitchen Café, the recipes never failed me and they are easy to follow. Some of my experiments including dinner rolls, focaccia bread and baked doughnut are considered successful.

So I come back for more.

This time I go for the Chicken Pillow recipe. The bread is crusty on the outside and soft in the inside. It is a perfect menu both for breakfast and dinner.  Don’t be overwhelmed by the recipe, just follow the steps slowly. I’m sure you will find it easy and yummy ;)

So below is the recipe (I copy from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe with some small modification at my end).

Note: This recipe contains of 3 part: the chicken filling, the bread and the parmesan sauce . The chicken filling can be prepared a day in advance.

Makes 20 chicken pillows

Part 1: Chicken Filling

Things you need:

  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 – 3 pounds)
  • 2 chicken back bones
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, light or regular, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon chicken powder (I use Knorr)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Things you need to do:

Cook the chicken  in 4 cups of water  and seasoned with salt, pepper and the chicken powder  in the pressure cooker for 1.5 hour.

When the chicken is cooked and cooled slightly, shred or cut into small pieces. In a medium bowl combine the chicken, cream cheese, garlic powder and salt and mix until well combined. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.

Part 2: Cornmeal Bread

Things you need:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 ½ – 6 cups flour

Things you need to do:

Heat the milk to just below a boil so bubbles are just appearing around the edges (this is called scalding milk). Add the cornmeal and cook and stir until thickened, lowering the temperature if needed so the mixture doesn’t boil.

Pour the cornmeal/milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl and let cool until lukewarm. Add the yeast, butter and sugar (if you dissolved active dry yeast with a bit of water and sugar until it foamed, add it now). Mix. Add the salt and eggs. Mix well. Add the flour gradually until a soft dough forms. Knead for 5-8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl covered with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.

Putting all together:

Things you need:

  • Chicken Filling
  • Cornmeal Bread
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese ( I mix the parmesan cheese with cheedar cheese to get a bit of tangy taste)

Things you need to do:

Deflate the dough and separate into two pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a 13X20-inch rectangle and cut each rectangle into 12 pieces (cutting lengthwise in half and then each half into six pieces). One by one, flatten each dough piece slightly and spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken/cream cheese mixture into the center. Fold up all the sides and pinch them together to seal well.

When all the chicken pillows have been formed, combine the panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a bowl or flat dish (like a pie plate). One by one, dip each chicken pillow in the melted butter and roll in the panko/Parmesan mixture.

Place seam side down about 2 inches apart on baking trays lined with parchment paper, a silpat liner or lightly greased.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C fan for 18-20 minutes, until the chicken pillows are lightly golden brown and the dough is baked through.

Parmesan Sauce:

Things you need:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tsp chicken powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream, light or regular

Things you need to do:

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, cooking over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is golden and bubbly. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper once the milk has been completely added.

Stir constantly over medium heat until the sauce thickens and bubbles, about 5-10 minutes, taking care to adjust the heat accordingly so the sauce doesn’t burn on the bottom.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese and cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Thin the sauce with a little milk if needed.

Serve the chicken pillow with the sauce.

Ready for your pillow?

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