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Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 6, 2012
6:01 PM

Post #9072487

Please--give me your input...

I bought 2 fat, boneless chicken Breast pieces today on clearance (YES! I do that!)...at Safeway.

Now my mind is spinning with what I may want to do with it that is a bit different--but yummy.
So far--here is my plan. For whatever it is worth...Tell me what you think...

--Will slice the breasts really thin and then pound them even thinner between layers of plastic wrap.
--Will fry them up, for a few minutes, in butter (Oil??) , salt and pepper and Onion Powder.
--Thinking of using Phylo dough as a wrap here. Or--as square "pockets". My imagination is working...hmmm...
--I have a lot of home-made Basil Pesto, so would like to use some of it up here...somehow.
--I could: Fry up a lot of sweet onions to the caramelized state--mix in some of the Pesto and, maybe, some
wilted Spinach (yes?--No?..) and wrap it all up in the Phylo dough and bake it for whatever time suggested.
(Question--Should Phylo dough be deep fried??? Or baked??? I have never worked with it.)
--I could, also, incorporate some Stove Top Chicken flavored stuffing mix--but that would not fit too well in my plan...
--Would any kind of cheese go well with this? like-maybe--Feta? Mozzarella? Ay other veggies?

I am visualizing several yummy lunches here...kind of like some kind of baked wraps/finger food.
Puffy with the Phylo dough...Drool!...

I find plain chicken breast boring. Too dry! The only way I like it is in Chicken salad.

Does my "Plan" have any promise here?????

Thanks for being a part of my fantasy meal. Gita

lourspolaire

lourspolaire
Delray Beach, FL
(Zone 10a)

April 7, 2012
3:51 AM

Post #9072753

Dear Gita...
There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying clearance poultry. My experience with poultry is as follows: if it's not fresh, your nose will tell you the second you open the package - and so will your neighbors. So enjoy your poultry if your nose doesn't sound alarms.

Your idea sounds delightful, but I would steam the thinly sliced chicken, dry it with a kitchen towel and set it in a mixing bowl.
Microwave some fresh spinach, dry it with a kitchen towel and add it with the chicken.
Add 1/2 cup coarsely grated feta cheese.
Add 1/4 cup coarsely grated swiss cheese.
Add 2 cloves finely minced garlic - I use a garlic press.
Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoon corn starch over the mixture.
Mix everything well.

Filo dough is not something I would deep-fry. It may work, but I always bake it.
I use only 1 sheet at a a time.

Lay your filo dough on the counter, narrow edge facing you.
Brush melted butter all over the surface of the layer of filo dough. I use a 4-inch brush that I keep around my kitchen drawer for just that purpose.
With your impeccably clean hands, form a filling "log" that would come out to be about the size of your thumb and 1/3 the length of the dough's shortest edge.
Place your filling 2 inches above the buttered filo dough's narrow edge facing you. Fold the bottom edge of the dough over the filling.
Fold each long edge inwards, your fold should occur at the end of the filling.
Beginning at the filled end, roll the dough until you get a neat little roll.
Place the roll (seam side down) on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Using a toothpick, punch a hole at the end of each roll to allow steam to escape during baking.
Repeat the procedure until all your filling has been used.

Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit about 15 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown.

Enjoy.

Sylvain.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 7, 2012
4:35 AM

Post #9072775

WOW--Sylvain!!

That really sounds good! Have you actually made this?
You are describing the steps in such detail...

I will print it out and see what anyone else has to offer...

Thanks, Gita

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 10, 2012
2:33 PM

Post #9077352

Sylvan---

I made my Chicken rolls today. it was a lot of work--as i was not familiar with it all.

There were other drawbacks--my Puff pastry dough had been in my freezer for several years
and was quite dry. It actually broke apart along the folds when I opened it.

So--I did my thing and got creative...that is how I usually cook. And things usually come out just great.

I rolled the Phylo sheets a bit with my pastry roller--as they were a bit dry and thick and not too stretchy.
Ended up using 2 boxes of it--GLAD they are GONE!!! A bit more room in my freezer...

As far as the filling mix---here is what i did...NO offense to your recipe! I did venture a bot off...

I did slice the chicken as thin as I could. Then I laid the slices on a plate in layers sprinkling
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper between each layer.
Then I dissolved one chicken bullion cube in boiling water and poured that all over the chicken slices.
Wrapped it in foil and it sat in the fridge all night--kind of marinating.
The idea of steaming the chicken slices did not appeal to me...I thought frying would give it more flavor.

This morning--I sliced up one Sweet Onion and diced up 2 cloves of garlic. Mixed them up.
Fried all that first in 1/2 butter--1/2 Olive Oil. Then I sauteed the chicken mix, as it was, and added
one bag of frozen Spinach squeezed dry. to it all at the end. Mixed it all up.

In the bowl--I added about double the amount (that you posted) of Feta and Swiss Cheese.
NEVER too much cheese!!!!
Mixed it all up--but also added some Onion Powder and some Poultry Seasoning.
I always use Onion Powder in everything...and the Poultry Seasoning just seemed to fit...

You were talking about rolls of the mix the size of my thumb?????? NO GO!
They were the size of a fat hot dog. With the size of the chunks of chicken--there was NO way
to make them that small...All's well that turns out well! right?

SO! Because my Phylo dough was so dry--I ended up patching the dough up to where I got only
6 portions out of both sheets in one package. Rolled the dough on a floured pastry board to stretch it a bit.
DID smear them with melted butter.

When the rolls were done---I also smeared the tops, before baking, with a beaten egg. Why not?

Baking these took more like 45 minutes +. I was aiming for a time-frame when they would start to turn
semi-golden brown. Because my rolls were larger than a BIG cabbage roll--they needed more time to bake.

All in all--I will make these again--maybe using some kind of other fillings---like shrimp? Crab? Beef?

I will also look into Recipes.com and other sites to see just what they have to offer...

I loved the ones I made! Now my mind wants to "expand my horizons"--my way of cooking...

Thanks for all your input, Sylvan. Do you follow any specific, ethnic cooking style???

You were the only one that answered to my Post. I appreciate that!

Gita

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 10, 2012
3:28 PM

Post #9077428

Sylvan--

I just realized that there may be a difference between "Puff Pastry" and Phyllo pastry (dough).

The one I used was listed as "Puff pastry" on the box--and was about 1/4" thick. That is why I rolled it out.
Tonight, as i watched a similar recipe on You Tube--they were using Phyllo dough--and it was
as thin as a sheet.

Now i am not sure which one would be better the next time I make these.
Is the Phyllo more suited for deserts? Is the Puff-pastry suited for the rolls I made????

HELP! Gita

lourspolaire

lourspolaire
Delray Beach, FL
(Zone 10a)

April 11, 2012
5:22 AM

Post #9078054

Gita, I enjoyed the way you ran with my idea. Filo dough is something I buy a few days before I use it because it has a tendency to be relegated to the back of the freezxer, where it quickly dries out and becomes unusable. I love working with filo dough.

Puff pastry and filo dough are like horse and zebras: different animals altogether. Your depiction sounds delicious.

Having had bad experiences with frozen puff pastry, I now make itmyself, following St.Julia Child's Mock Puff Pastry recipe. Puff pastry is a bit of a hassle, but it's worth it in the end. Filo dough is strictly store-bought. I use more filo dough than puff pastry. I also like to stuff filo dough with the mixture used in crab rangoons.

Take care.
Sylvain.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 11, 2012
4:15 PM

Post #9078915

Thank you for your reply, Sylvan.

May i assume you are a male??? Names can be deceiving...Are you of Oriental descent?
I ask this because of your description of the mixture rolls being the size of my thumb.

I used to have Philippine neighbors-and they made these amazing, thin, finger-sized wraps
similar to egg-rolls. Then deep-fried. OH--how I loved them!!!

I love to cook--but have no one to cook for but myself. I am 75--and divorced for 20 yrs already.
This fills my freezer to the brink. I am a food hoarder--and need to stop that!!! It fills my freezer--
and then I never get to it all to cook it...
So--I cook in my fantasy! Now and then--in reality. Then--I have to eat it for a week!!! YUK!

Best to you!!! Gita

lourspolaire

lourspolaire
Delray Beach, FL
(Zone 10a)

April 11, 2012
5:02 PM

Post #9078965

Hi.

I am a 57-year old man, maried for 35 years. I am French-Canadian and I love to attempt all kinds of international cuisines. I also love to improvise and create recipes on a whim. I would say that my thumbs are about the same diameter as a quarter.

Take care.
Sylvain.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 11, 2012
5:43 PM

Post #9079000

Sylvain--

I am born in Latvia--in Northern Europe. Came to the USA in 1951 as an immigrant.
We have our own favorite (maybe boring) foods. But--there are amazing specialty foods
and cakes and condiments...Like one would expect to be in any specific Country.

We are mostly meat and potatoes and gravy foodies. Using a lot of onions and Dill and Sour Cream.
Of course- we have changed over the decades as many of us emigrated in many other countries
but still hang on to our favorite, ethnic foods. Why not? That is what recipes is all about!

Hey! I make a killer Sauerkraut Soup! Ever have any ????? Most of the Slavic Countries do this one.
Great winter soup! Heavy and warming...
Thick with Sauerkraut, cabbage and smoked & fresh pork, ham bones, and all kinds of veggies, and barley.

Would you like to try this????? Soups freeze so well--for many years--honest!!!

*************************************************

Gita’s Latvian Sauerkraut Soup

Note: This is delicious, full-bodied, cool weather soup. No actual
measurements are given. Only guidelines. Good soups are not based on a pre-
scribed formula. If it seems right to you….go for it!
(this recipe is for a pot of approx. 21 qts. capacity. You can cut it in half easily.

In a large stockpot put:

A big, meaty ham bone (smoked is best), a 2 lb (plus or minus) piece of fresh pork of some kind (picnic, country spare ribs, fresh ham, thick pork chops etc.) and, for extra flavor, some smoked ham hocks.
These have a lot of fat (which can be removed once Soup is cold) but also add a lot of flavor. Anything with bone-in is good. It adds body to the soup.

Cover meat with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer, skimming off foam as it surfaces. Let simmer for about an hour.
**Do not add any of the seasonings until all the “foaming” has stopped, or you will be skimming off the seasonings as well.

Next add 1 deli-pack (or 1 lg. Can—32oz) of Sauerkraut, 1 med. head of green cabbage, cut with a knife in a coarse shred, 2-3 ribs of celery (sliced), 2-3 med. onions (coarsely chopped), 1Tbs. Caraway seed, about a tsp.- full of whole peppercorns, (or fresh ground black pepper to taste), 2-3 Bay leaves, fresh chopped parsley (1/2c. or so), fresh chopped dill (stems and all-maybe a 1/3 cup), and 1-2 coarsely shredded carrots.

Note: This soup can have either barley (a ½ cup or so DRY) or diced potatoes (3 or 4 med.—thick-diced) added for a fuller body. If you choose barley, add it now, as barley takes long while to cook until it is tender! If you choose potatoes, add them in the last half hour of cooking the soup, or they will turn to “mush”.

Add enough water (or saved broths—see note below) to almost fill the pot. Bring all back to a boil. Lower fire way down, and simmer the soup for a good 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Meat needs to be “falling off the bones” done.

At this point, using a slotted spoon, fish out ALL meats and bones to a large platter. Keep soup simmering ….(you can now add the potatoes).

Cut away all edible meat in bite-sized pieces. scrape off all underlying fat from the Hocks and discard, along with all other unnecessary fat. Sliver smoked skin from the hocks in thin strips—if you want to…or toss it! ***(Save bones for your favorite dog!).

Return cut-up meat to the soup and stir well to distribute all. Simmer another few minutes, or so.
The soup is now basically done. Let it rest a bit and skim off any obvious fat layer--then serve it with GOOD buttered bread of your choice—Rye bread and butter really complement this Soup.
Gets better and better when reheated…as all soups do! Freezes well also.

Can be frozen in serving size bowls or containers, such as a margarine bowls.
Microwave to re-heat and serve.

***This, as all soups, freeze VERY WELL and last for a very long time in the freezer without losing flavor. Years! Literally!!!
Lots of success with this! You will love this soup! Everyone has-- that has tasted it. I can almost guarantee it!!!

Frugality note:
You can save (and freeze) any liquids/broths from other “cookings” of veggies, potatoes, and meats and then add them to the soup. Why pour it down the drain???

edited to add the "Frugality Note"...I left it out.


This message was edited Apr 14, 2012 6:15 PM

lourspolaire

lourspolaire
Delray Beach, FL
(Zone 10a)

April 14, 2012
10:41 AM

Post #9082167

Thanks. I have saved the recipe. I'll try it soon. My wife LOVES sauerkraut. I'm not too keen on caraway. Nevertheless, it sounds delicious.

Sylvain.
dmac085
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 26, 2012
11:47 AM

Post #9139435

Sounds like some good ideas/meals happening here. I found that with puff pastry it is best to let it thaw to room temp or close to it before trying to unfold it. The folds from the package will be stress points so I do try to press out and blend any cracks from the fold marks.

I buy "mark down" meats as long as the date is good and the product isn't discolored or smelly. Sometimes it goes straight to the freezer and sometimes I just get to cooking. Haven't had any issues with it.

This is something I do with chicken breast quite often.

Square of heavy duty foil (or regular with a parchment liner or that new Reynolds that has parchment on one side and foil on the other).
Thinly slice red or yukon gold potatoes and shingle in the center of the square. Season w/ salt and pepper or favorite seasoning blend lightly with each layer.
Slice zucchini or yellow squash and layer over potatoes. Season.
I like fresh sugar snap peas, snow peas or green beans next. Season.
Thinly sliced onion, I like red or vidalia, but any will do.
Season chicken breast however you like and lay over the bed of veggies (any veggies you like should work as long as they are cut so that they cook around the same time. Like carrots should be shredded as they are firm.)
I bring up the edges of the foil, drop a dot of butter and you can add 1/8-1/4 c liquid--the veggies and chicken will release some so don't go heavy on liquids--usually I go with 1/8 c.--white wine, chicken broth, slightly thinned bbq sauce or marinara or even italian dressing. Seal up into a foil package and place on baking sheet in oven for about 35-40 minutes at 350. Let sit a bit so you don't get steam burns when opening the packet. I like this with rice.

You can marinate the chicken ahead of time if you like or pound it out a bit thinner for a quicker cook time. Most of the veggies I used above are pretty fast cooking so it shouldn't be an issue if the chicken cooks through quicker.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

May 26, 2012
8:22 PM

Post #9139967

Dmac---

That sounds really good! Will have to try it...

Just tonight--I cut up a 5lb. chicken I bought in the "clearance bay" at my Safeway.

I also bought 2 boxes of Kikkoman Tempura Batter Mix on their 50% off rack.
Doing the Chicken tomorrow. Portioned it and trimmed it. Right now it is sitting, overnight, and
marinating in Buttermilk with some spices.

Tomorrow--i will, drain it--roll all the pieces in the batter mix and deep fry it.
Sound delish! Not sure how i will like it...but I think I will...

Life is an adventure--and so is cooking... Gita
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 30, 2012
7:15 PM

Post #9145466

Dmac, the Reynolds aluminum non-stick product you refer to is not lined with parchment but rather a silicon and iron fixative. I am not posting to comment on the product but people should know. That said, much of the parchment or non-stick baking papers not labeled natural are also coated with silicon today.
dmac085
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 3, 2012
1:13 AM

Post #9149895

OK

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