Chicken and cheese strudel
Chicken and cheese strudel SERVES 6 AS A MAIN MEAL OR 12 AS PART OF A BUFFET PREP AND COOK TIME 1 HOUR
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 800g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 3cm pieces 200g button mushrooms, sliced 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely 2 tablespoons plain flour 1¼ cups (310ml) milk 1 tablespoon Dijon or French mustard ½ teaspoon sea salt ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper 1 cup (120g) grated tasty cheese 2 sheets frozen puff pastry 1 egg, beaten 4 spring onions, sliced finely 1 Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). 2 Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan and brown half of the chicken. Remove chicken to a bowl and repeat with another teaspoon of oil and the remaining chicken (it only needs to have some golden colour, not be cooked all the way through at this stage.) 3 Heat the remaining oil in the pan and cook the mushrooms until a light golden colour. They will release liquid as they cook; continue to cook until this liquid evaporates. Add the garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. 4 Return the chicken to the pan and sprinkle flour over the top. Stir to coat the chicken. Add the milk ¼ cup (60ml) at a time, allowing the sauce to cook and thicken in between each addition. When all the milk is added, bring the sauce to a simmer and add the mustard, salt, pepper and two-thirds of the cheese. Simmer for a few minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove to a bowl; refrigerate until cold. 5 Place two sheets of puff pastry on a sheet of baking paper on a large cutting board or bench. Brush 1cm of the edge of one sheet with a little egg, and overlap the other sheet over it. Press to join the sheets together into a large rectangle. Turn the rectangle so the short edge is closest to you. Using the back of a butter knife or a skewer, make faint lines on the pastry dividing it into equal thirds lengthways. Cut off the top two corners to form a point. At the base, cut a triangle out of the left and right thirds of the pastry. It should now resemble the shape of a big straight Christmas tree (see photograph below, left). 6 Make diagonal cuts about 1.5cm apart, following the line of the upper point of the pastry, starting at the middle third line and going to the edge. Once cut, lift the baking paper onto a large baking tray. 7 Place the cooled chicken mixture along the middle third of the pastry, stopping short of the pointy and square-cut ends. Sprinkle with the spring onions and the remaining cheese. 8 Fold the pointy top end and the square bottom end over the chicken mixture and, alternating from left to right, fold the strips of pastry over the chicken mixture (below, right). It will look a bit like a braid. Brush liberally with egg and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a deep golden brown. It’s lovely served hot or at room temperature. Uncooked strudel suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.
Chicken and cheese strudel
The pastry is folded over the filling like a braid.
Cut the pastry before adding the filling.