Chicken & Broccoli Parcels

Chicken & Broccoli Parcels A

Another savoury recipe from me, yes you are seeing right! This is a homely, warming and filling recipe that you can make for a snack, for a meal or to freeze as back-up food (I do this all the time!). Tenderstem broccoli is a member of vegetable royalty in my opinion, it looks good and knows it does. But it doesn’t just look good, the tender stems (hence the name) are really delicious with a beautiful flavour.

Chicken & Broccoli Parcels

Makes 8

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Ingredients

for the pastry

  • 500g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 125g lard or white vegetable fat, chilled and cubed
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water

for the filling

  • 300g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 100g broccoli, preferably tenderstem, cut at an angle into 2cm pieces

for the glaze

  • beaten egg loosened with a little water

Method

Make the pastry: sift the flour into a large bowl with the salt, add the butter and lard. Rub in the fat using your fingertips (or do this in a food processor) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in enough water to form a firm dough, knead a couple of times until smooth. Divide the dough into two, shape into discs, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to chill and rest while preparing the filling.

Prepare the filling: place the chicken in a bowl with the garlic, onion, tarragon, chilli powder, paprika and salt, and mix to combine. Set aside for 20 minutes to marinate. Heat the oil in a wide pan over a medium heat and fry the marinated chicken for three minutes to seal, stirring frequently. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for one minute more. Spread the prepared filling over a baking tray to cool quickly.

Assemble the parcels: preheat the oven to 220°C (210°C fan)/425°F/gas mark 7 and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Roll one-half of the dough into a 30x30cm square, between a sheet of non-stick paper and the cling film. Trim the edges to make a neat square and cut into four smaller 15x15cm squares.

Combine the cooled filling with the broccoli. Place an-eighth of the filling in the centre of each square, and shape into a diamond. Bring the corners of each pastry square to its middle and pinch the seams together (so as to form a diamond with the seams making a cross through it). Crimp the seams and brush the parcels with the glaze, then transfer to one of the prepared baking trays. Repeat this process with the other half of the pastry and the rest of the filling, placing these parcels on the other prepared baking tray.

Bake the parcels for 15 minutes before reducing the temperature to 180°C (170°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4) and baking for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before serving.

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