Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chicken puffs

Ingredients :
1/2 lb boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon chilli powder or to taste
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 drops red food color mixed in 1 tablespoon of water
Salt as per taste
1 tablespoon oil
2 ready to bake Puff pastry sheets (1 box)
1 egg, for egg wash (optional)
Few sprigs of cilantro,finely chopped
Juice of half a lime

Directions : 
First we have to make the stuffing : 
1. Clean the chicken and cut the chicken into small bite size pieces.
2. Take a skillet and heat the oil on medium high.
3. Add cumin seeds and once they splutter, add the onion.
4. Fry the onions on medium high flame so that they caramelize nicely.
5. Once the onions are brown, add ginger garlic paste and cook on medium heat till the raw smell goes off.
6. Now, add the chicken,turmeric and little salt. Mix well and cook on medium heat, covered.  
7. Keep mixing the chicken in between. It will take around 15 to 20 mins for the chicken to cook. Once the chicken is cooked remove the lid and increase the heat to medium high and open cook the chicken so that the water evaporates. Mix frequently so that it does not burn.
8. When all the water has evaporated, add chilli powder and red food color and mix well. Let it fry for 2mins.
9. Now add the garam masala and some of the chopped cilantro and mix well. Taste the chicken and add more salt or chilli powder accordingly.
10. Remove from heat and squeeze in half a lime and add rest of the cilantro and mix.
11. Transfer the stuffing to a plate and after 5minutes cover it with a clear wrap. The chicken has to cool down completely before stuffing it.
Keep the plate in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
To make the puffs : 
1. Take the puff pastry sheets out of the freezer and thaw them at room temperature for 40minutes (meanwhile the stuffing will also cool down).
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
3. Cut the pastry sheet strips into 2, to form a rectangle.
4. Put 1 tablespoon of stuffing on one end of the rectangle and apply water to the edges with your finger.
5. Fold the pastry sheet and press the edges to seal the puffs.
6. Arrange the prepared puffs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.
7. Beat an egg and with the help of a pastry brush, apply the egg wash on the puffs.
8. Place them in the pre-heated oven and bake for 15 to 20 mins.
9. Serve warm with ketch up.

Note : Do not let the pastry sheets thaw for more than 4omins, otherwise they will stick to each other and will become difficult to handle.
Egg wash gives the puffs nice golden brown color.
Time taken to bake might vary from oven to oven so keep an eye on them and adjust the time accordingly.
Once out of the oven let the puffs sit for 5mins before serving.

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