Dinner Party for Dummies

Dinner parties are probably one of my favorite things… ever.

There is nothing better to me than spending time with great people while drinking excessive amounts of wine and eating delicious food.

If you can name something better I’ll bake you cookies. Really. Try me.

Anywho, this weekend I had a lovely little gathering with Johnny and two of our super-fun friends. The menu? Chicken en Croute with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus.

Sound complicated???? It’s not!!! “En croute” is just a fancy french way to say something is wrapped in pastry dough. The recipe I came up with for Chicken en Croute includes a leek and mushroom stuffing and some good strong brie, which gets gooey and delicious once it’s baked in the oven.

This meal sounds kind of intimidating, but I promise it’s actually quite the no-brainer and it fed four people (and made leftovers) for about $8.50 a person! You won’t get a meal this fancy at any restaurant for that cheap!

photo by Allison Quering

Here are the ingredients.

For the Chicken en Croute:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 boxes (4 sheets) of puff pastry dough
  • 1 bunch leeks, sliced

Fun Food Fact:
When leeks grow through the soil, they trap lots of dirt and grit inside their leaves. When you prepare a leek, you’ll actually want to slice it first,
then soak it in a big bowl of water.

Swirl it around a bit, and all of the grit will sink to the bottom!
Scoop the leeks out with a slotted spoon to leave all of the dirt in the bowl.

  • 1 pound baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 ounces brie cheese, sliced into four servings
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the Garlic Roasted Tomatoes and Asparagus:

  • 1 container cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 pound asparagus spears, woody ends removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Here are step by step directions on how to prepare both of these dishes without a hitch!

Chicken en Croute
with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes
& Asparagus

Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the tomatoes with salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil and spread them on a foil lined baking sheet.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until fragrant and the tomatoes burst. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the leeks and cook for about three minutes or until they begin to become translucent. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking five minutes more.
Add the wine and cook another five minutes. Remove from heat.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Flour your work surface and spread out one sheet of puff pastry dough. In the center, add 1/4 of the leek mixture, 1/4 of the brie and top with the seasoned chicken breast.
Fold the pastry dough over top of the chicken, longways, then fold the other half on top of that. Use the beaten egg to seal the edges.
Fold the outside edges on top and flip the chicken on a greased baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining three chicken breasts.
Brush the top of the pastry dough with the beaten egg.
Using a sharp knife, make three incisions in the top of each pastry to avoid excessive puffing while baking.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire baking rack and cool five minutes more.
While the chicken is cooling, bring a large pot filled with 2 cups of water to boil.
Once boiling, add the asparagus. Let cook for 3-4 minutes, until bright green in color and tender.
Drain, return to pot, and add the reserved tomatoes. Heat until tomatoes are warmed through.

Serve everything with
a big glass of wine and enjoy!

photo by Allison Quering

4 comments

  1. michelle webster

    love doing dinner parties never new how fun it was doing this,until i learned it all from my site…simpledinnerparties.kmmakers.com..chicken en croute is very tasty…

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