Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chicken Bruschetta Turnovers for Easy Food Magazine

I was very excited when I received an email from Easy Food Magazine asking me to be a taster for them for the May edition of the Magazine. I’m an avid reader of cooking/food magazines and I especially like to buy the Easy Food Magazine as its Irish and also it’s got easy everyday recipes that are simple to make and usually requiring ingredients that are readily available in your local supermarket.

I thought testing the recipe would be a bit of craic and a little bit of weekend fun and I used my unassuming family as my guinea pigs. Caroline in Easy Food asked me to just write a couple of lines about myself and what I thought of the recipe. They provided the photos for the magazine themselves, so the photos of the recipe in this post are from my own kitchen/camera. If you are a reader of Easy Food magazine, like testing new recipes and get a kick outta seeing yourself in print then I suggest simply email edito@easyfood.ie to let them know your interested.

The recipe I was asked to test was Chicken Bruschetta Turnovers. These are like little pastry pies using leftover chicken. I love any recipe that involves leftovers as I hate throwing food out and food wastage so these turnovers are right up my street. They aren’t on my Monday – Friday dietery plan, but are on the Weekend Treat list. I am a big anti-pasti fan, so I thought I might make a few substitutions of my own to give the turnovers a stronger Italian flavour, i.e. substituting tomatoes for sundried tomatoes and including some pesto also. The original recipe called for 500g of leftover chicken; however I struggled to fit all that chicken into the turnovers, so I was delighted when Easy Food took on board my suggestion to half the quantity for the published version of the recipe. I used Just-Rol ready-made Puff pastry. In hindsight I think I would have rolled the pastry out to stretch it as far as it could get, and with a ruler cut out a perfect square to make the turnovers easier to seal, my bad!!......... Oh well, definitely next time…
In my suggestion to Easy Food I also noted that you could make mini versions of these turnovers for canapés for a drinks party, and they used this in the ‘Tip’ part of the recipe.

The recipe below is how I made them myself, so it varies a little from the Easy Food recipe. (It’s easy to see why now I’ll never make a precise Baker, if I can’t stick to simple recipes!!! I’m always throwing in a bit of this and a dash of that. This for me is half the fun!!!!!)However the principal is the same, just a few little personalised twists in my version, fuelled by the control freak in me and my passion for pesto!!!

Chicken Bruschetta Turnovers
Serves 8


·         250g leftover chicken, pulled or cut into bite-sized pieces
·         3 sundried tomatoes, chopped and blotched with kitchen paper to soak up excess oil
·         ½ onion, chopped
·         2 tbsp of basil pesto
·         A small handful of fresh basil, chopped
·         1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
·         Salt and black pepper
·         2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
·         1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp of water
·         50g Parmesan, grated
·         50g Mozzarella, shredded


1        Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6 and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
2        Combine the sundried tomatoes, onion, basil and oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
3        Unfold the puff pastry, roll out to expand the pastry by a further 10-20% and using a ruler make a perfect square out of each sheet. This will involve cutting off a strip of pastry on the side.
4        Cut each sheet into four even squares.
5        Brush the outer edge of each square with the egg mixture.

6        Add a tsp of pesto to the centre of each square.
7        Divide the chicken evenly and place a portion in the center of each pastry square, sitting on the pesto.
8        Top with one tablespoon each of the tomato mixture, Parmesan and mozzarella.
9        Fold the pastry over diagonally, making a triangle, and press the edges well to seal. Brush the top of each pastry with the egg mixture and cook for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling at the edges.

Everyone loved this recipe, even my cheese-hating husband. It has winner written all over it. For a simple bistro-style lunch with a green salad, or mini versions for a drinks party, or even a cold picnic companion. There is just no excuse not to try this!!!!

To make this vegetarian, may I suggest replacing the chicken with chopped marinated grilled Mediterranean veggies, e.g. Aubergines, courgettes and peppers, and use vegetarian friendly pesto and cheese.

If you like this recipe and have any interest in seeing more of these type of recipes, along with foodie cooking tips and news, log ontohttp://www.easyfood.ie/ and check out the monthly magazine, May edition, on the shelves now!!!

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