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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lauren Alexander: A New Series for Easy meals...

Every week I sit down to make my "meal plan" for the week as well as my grocery list. There are so many times that I do this and find that I'm crossing off the idea of a meal because it just requires too many ingredients. I'm always in search of a delicious meal that's easy to shop for and not too time consuming to prepare. Pretty much the impossible, right? Wrong! Because when I'm looking for this perfect combo I always start in the same place- the holy grail of meal prep, the rotisserie chicken. I mean, what's not to like about it? Some magical man in an unknown room is cooking these babies up all day and then setting them out in those oh-so-convenient warmers until I can come by and snatch one up. I don't have to worry about preparing it, cooking it (or undercooking it, which is my greatest phobia), or making sure it's perfectly moist and ready to serve. Nope, the magical man does that. All I have to do is come up with lots of ways to serve it so my husband doesn't figure me out.
And today is your lucky day because I'm going to share with you the first in a series of recipes that uses the rotisserie chicken as a starting point and very little else to take it from the container to the dinner plate.
Chicken and Gruyere Turnovers (Don't panic if you don't know what Gruyere is...)
Frozen puff pastry (one 17.25 oz package)
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere (this is a very mild cheese and is great for baking because of how it melts; you can substitute a good Swiss if you can't find Gruyere)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 egg
Dijon mustard
Cut 2 sheets of thawed frozen puff pastry in half to form 4 rectangles. Dividing evenly, top half of each rectangle with a mixture of the chicken, Gruyere, and frozen peas. Seal the pastries and brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake at 400 degrees until golden, 20-25 minutes. Serve with Dijon mustard. Serves 4.
The combination of the flaky puff pastry plus the melty, cheesy chicken mixture is to die for! And it has all the "basics" inside- meat, cheese, vegetable- so no need for a side dish. You could even add or substitute another vegetable (I was thinking broccoli ??) to up the heartiness of the meal.
Coming up I'll have more easy meals that start with the rotisserie chicken. Anything to give us a new recipe to try without breaking the bank or our back, right?!

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