Friday, May 13, 2011

Chicken Salad Appetizer Puffs

Today’s a busy cooking day for me. Tomorrow night we’ve got close to 100 people coming over for a wine, cheese and appetizer party. There’s definitely a lot to do to get ready for that.

One of the items on my agenda for today is chicken salad appetizer puffs. When I get ready for parties, I try to do what I can ahead of time. And then I allow myself a few items to make relatively last-minute. This is one of them. This isn’t something that can be done days or weeks in advance, but it’s still pretty easy to make and people seem to like it.

It’s a two-part recipe. First you make the cream puff-style shells. Then you fill it with chicken salad.

1. “Cream puff” style shells:

½ cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup white flour
¼ tsp. salt
4 large eggs

Spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking oil spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and water to a rolling boil. Add flour and salt and stir until the mixture becomes smooth and leaves the side of the pan. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat until mixture loses its gloss. Drop dough by rounded teasponfuls onto prepared cookie sheets, allowing 2-3 inches between each spoonful of dough. Bake about 15 minutes in preheated oven until puffed and lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool away from draft. Makes about 48 to 80 appetizer-sized puffs. No more than 2-3 hours before serving, split shells in half and fill with chicken salad. Refrigerate until serving time.

2. Chicken salad filling:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
4 celery stalks, washed, dried and sliced thinly
5 eggs,hard-boiled and diced
½ cup mayonnaise
1 T. mustard
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Mix chicken, celery and eggs together in medium-sized bowl. In small bowl, blend mayonnaise, mustard, salt and parsley together; pour on top of chicken mixture and stir together.

That’s it. This is a very simple filling, but it always tastes yummy. We’ll enjoy these chicken salad puffs tomorrow night!

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