Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Parcels

These individual chicken, mushroom and leek parcels are perfectly delicious and will be the centre of attention at any meal.

The elements of these parcels are prepared separately with care to give the maximum flavour to each of the layers.

The chicken is poached slowly with wine and herbs to tenderness and also creating a rich chicken stock that is then used to make the creamy bechamel sauce. The leeks and mushrooms are cooked quickly in wine, thyme and fresh parsley to maintain their fleshy texture.

These three elements are them combined with the lighter bechamel sauce to create the delicious filling, packed with flavour for the individual parcels. A homemade shortcrust pastry gathers everything up into an attractive parcel.

All the elements could also be prepared ahead and kept in the fridge until ready to make the pastry and assemble and bake the parcels.

The quantity of filling will make 3-4 parcels. I have made two larger ones but they could easily have been satisfying in a smaller quantity. Smaller mini parcels could also be made as appetisers and finger food for celebrations.

Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Parcels

Ingredients:

Preparing the Chicken and Stock:

  • 200 g chicken breast cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 3 strips of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 large sage leaf, finely chopped
  • McCormick’s chicken seasoning 
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 2 Tblsp Olive oil
  • 1 Tblsp chicken stock powder
  • cup water

Mushrooms and Leeks:

  • 200 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 leek, washed and chopped into thin rings
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 small stems of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stem
  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1 knob of butter

Bechamel:

  • 250 ml of Chicken poaching stock
  • 250ml full cream milk, warmed
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 50 g salted butter
  • 2 Tblsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • Ground black pepper
  • pinch of ground nutmeg

Shortcrust Pastry:

  • 2 cups of Plain Flour, sifted
  • 85 g butter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 9 Tblsp  chilled water

Method:

Shortcrust Pastry:

1. Sift the flour and salt
2. Rub the butter through the flour using finger tips till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
3.Add the chilled water to the mix a little at a time stirring with a knife till the mixture forms a good dough
4.Wrap the dough in cling wrap and place in the fridge to rest (if filling is prepared ahead, rest the pastry for at least 30 minutes)

Chicken and Stock:

1. Cut chicken breast into small cubes

2. 1. Heat olive oil and knob of butter over medium heat in a heavy based saucepan. When butter stops foaming, add crushed clove of garlic and cook for a minute, then remove the clove of garlic and set it aside

3. Add the chicken to the saucepan and seal quickly on all sides till lightly browned

4. Increase heat and pour over the dry white wine. Bring to boil for a minute then lower the heat, return the garlic, season with pepper, chicken seasoning, chicken stock powder, and salt

5. Pour in a cup of boiling water into the pan then simmer covered and poach the chicken for an hour, adding more hot liquid from time to time as it evaporates

6. Then remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and cover. Set aside the poaching liquid. You should have about 250ml of chicken stock

Poached chicken pieces set aside.

Mushrooms and Leeks:

1.In a frypan, heat the oil and knob of butter over a medium-low heat till the butter foams

2. Add the leeks and season with salt and pepper and stir through

3.Cook for a few minutes until softened and remove to a bowl, cover and set aside

3. Add a little extra olive oil to the saucepan over a medium-heat

4. Add the sliced mushrooms, parsley and thyme and cook for 2 minutes

5. Remove to a bowl, cover and set aside 

Cooked mushrooms and leeks.

Bechamel:

1. Make a roux by melting the butter

2. Whisk in flour and cook for a minute. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, pinch of ground nutmeg and 1/4 tsp salt

3. Remove from the heat and whisk through the milk and chicken stock till smooth

Milk and the rich stock are combined to make the bechamel.

4. Return to the heat and continue whisking till the bechamel comes to the boil and the sauce thickens

5. Lower heat and cook for a minute then remove from the heat and stir in 2 Tblsp of ground parmesan cheese

6.Stir the cooked chicken, leek and mushrooms through the bechamel sauce till well combined. Check and season if required. Cover and set aside while you prepare the pastry to make the parcel

The delicious filling is rich and creamy, the mushrooms plump and the leeks tender.

Assembling the Parcels:

Pre-heat oven to 200 C Fan Forced

I have used mini flan pans with removable bases to make the handling and removal of the parcels easy

Mini flan tins with a non stick surface and removable bases

1.Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide it into equal parts

2. Return the others to the fridge while rolling out the first piece

3.Flour the board well then proceed to roll out the pastry

4.First roll the piece of pastry into a ball

5.Then place onto the floured board and using a floured rolling pin, and rotating the pastry as you work, roll it out. Create a nice large circle of pastry. Leave a margin of about 5cm of the edge larger than the flan tin or the space occupied by the filling

6. Trim the edges to make a neat edge to the pastry

7.Remove the other pastry pieces from the fridge and repeat the process for the other circle/s of pastry. Use pastry scraps to make a long strip and cut on the diagonal to make 2 leaves for each parcel. Use a knife to make decorative leaf veins on them

8.Prick the center of the pastry circles with a fork, being careful not to pierce the pastry all the way through

9. Drape the pastry over the flan pan

Pastry centre pricked with a fork and pastry draped over flan tin.

10. Divide the filling according to how many parcels you will be making. Spoon the filling into the centre of the pastry, in the well of the flan tin

11. Gather out the outer edge of the pastry circle and form a pleat. Continue pleating in the same direction, moving from one to the next all around the circle till the parcel is formed

12. Brush the pastry leaves with water and place over the opening at the top of the parcel pressing down over the edges of the pleats

13. Brush the parcels with milk all over and place onto a tray

14. Place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 220 C Fan Forced for 10 minutes. Then lower the heat to 180 C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the parcels are a nice golden colour

15. When baked, remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before removing from the Flan tins. This is very easy with the removable base. They just slip off without any effort

16. Serve hot with vegetables of your choice or a nice garden salad

Chicken, mushroom and leek parcels are so delicious and filling

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