Wednesday, December 3, 2014

HFF #14: Fear Factor

The Challenge: Make a food that scares you.  I'm stepping out of my comfort zone to prepare a meat dish.  It's also one of those lovely 'no quantities or baking times given' receipts.

The Recipe: Chicken Puffs from Godey's (1867); puff paste once again from Practical American Cookery (1860); white sauce from The Treasury of French Cookery (1866)

Date/Year & Region: 1867, American (components American and British-French)

How Did You Make It: Prepared puff paste as before.  White sauce--browned 4 oz butter with 2 Tbsp flour on the stove, added 2/3 c. water, removed from heat just before boiling, added pinch of salt, dash of pepper, and juice of 1/2 lemon.
Chicken filling-- Minced chicken breast, 1 large shallot, rind of 1/2 lemon, and about 1-1 1/2 Tbsp fresh parsley.  Added 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp each ground black pepper, ground mace, ground cayenne pepper.  Poured white sauce over and stirred it all together.

Cut squares of puff paste, placed on the paste 1 spoonful of the chicken mixture, folded edges up to form a 'puff', pricked with a fork and baked 20 min at 350F.

Time to Complete: 20-ish minutes to prepare, 20 minutes baking time per pan.

Total Cost: Estimated $9.00 for butter, chicken, shallots, lemon.  Staples and trace spices to hand.

How Successful Was It: The opposite of bland.  Possibly a little strong on the lemon, but it's nice and spicy (ok, maybe use a hair less cayenne as well).  The pastry is light and flaky.  Will not be winning any beauty pageants, but worth feeding to guests.

How Accurate Was It: I subbed in a little wheat flour with the all-purpose, and used margarine for half the butter (ran out of the good stuff); more importantly I omitted the ham (didn't have any or any way to use up the inevitable excess) and half an anchovie (because NO seafood goes into my kitchen).  The shape was entirely on my own initiative.

White sauce and chopped vegetables.
White sauce and flavorings

Chicken puff filling.

Chicken puffs, from an 1867 Godey's recipe.
Chicken Puffs

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