Chunky Chicken and Apricot Spinach Pastry Plaits
This refreshing twist on a sausage roll consists of spinach pastry enclosing a chicken filling stuffed with apricots, bacon and spring onions plaited to give it a special look. Serve warm, sliced, with a side salad and a glass of crisp cider.
Pie by Dean Brettschneider.
Published by Penguin Group NZ.
© Dean Brettschneider, 2012.
Photography © Aaron McLean, 2012
(Makes 2 large plaits, each serving two people)
1 quantity of Spinach Puff Pastry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 100g streaky bacon, chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 300g chicken mince or finely chopped chicken breast
- 60g dried apricots, finely chopped
- 25g breadcrumbs
- ¼ tsp salt
- a few good grinds of pepper
1 egg beaten with 2 tbsp water, for egg wash
Make Spinach Puff Pastry the day before and store wrapped in the refrigerator.
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic and onion. Fry over a medium heat until softened, but not coloured. Add the bacon and fry until cooked, then turn off the heat. Add the spring onions and mix to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool.
Add the chicken, apricots, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to the cooled bacon and onion mixture and, using your hands, forcefully mix thoroughly for 2–3 minutes to strengthen the chicken meat proteins and give the filling some structure. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator until needed, or overnight.
Divide the pastry into two equal parts. On a floured surface, roll each piece out to form a 20cm square, trimming the edges to make a perfect square.
Divide filling into two equal amounts then roll each one into an 18cm-long log shape. Set aside on a plate.
Using a sharp knife, cut seven 7cm-long strips on the diagonal on each piece of pastry from the outer edge inwards – they should be equal down each side of the pastry. Place the filling log in the centre. Pick up one strip at a time and fold it over the filling, alternating each side, so that you are encasing the filling by plaiting the strips of pastry over it.
Place both plaited logs onto a baking paper-lined oven tray and brush the top and sides of each pastry plait with egg wash. For best results leave the prepared plaits to rest for 1 hour before baking.
Bake in a preheated 220°C oven for 20–25 minutes or until the pastry is golden-brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and stand for 5 minutes before serving.