Bring the retro appetizer that everyone at the party's talking about. Chill a chicken-cream cheese spread in a loaf pan, then make it into the shape of a box by cutting the loaf in half crosswise and placing one half on top of the other.
3 cups diced cooked chicken
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and diced
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
4 green onions, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
Garnishes: 7 to 8 green onion stems and 1 red chile pepper, halved
How to Make It
Stir together first 9 ingredients in a large bowl until blended; spoon into a straight-sided 9- x 5-inch loafpan lined with plastic wrap. Cover and chill 8 hours, or freeze up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator 8 hours.
Invert chilled mixture onto a serving plate; remove plastic wrap. Cut loaf in half crosswise; place 1 cut half directly on top of remaining cut half, and smooth sides. Serve with crackers or toasted French baguette slices.
Garnish, if desired, by plunging green onion stems in boiling water; plunge stems into ice water to stop the cooking process. Immediately transfer to paper towels; drain stems, and press between paper towels to dry. Press stems into sides of cheese square, beginning with the end of one stem on each side. Bring stems up and over to center of top; form loops with remaining stems, and secure with wooden picks. Arrange chile pepper halves on top.
Note: To make 2 small boxes, cut in half, and garnish each half, if desired.
This is delicious, but it makes WAY too much (about 8-9 cups! - that's about 1/3 cup per person if you count it as serving 24) for an average party or buffet spread. Because I never have just one offering (and rarely 24 people), I always make half the recipe, and I don't serve it like a gift - more like I would a cheese ball. I sprinkle it with finely chopped flat leaf parsley. This is a nice, substantial appetizer, especially good if you are serving "appetizer dinner" ; ) If you make a full recipe, I'd divide it into two and put one half out at a time, replacing it with the second one as time progresses. It will present better if it hasn't been all goobered up by people digging into it (which is fine, you just don't need that much out at a time), and you don't have to worry about it being out on the table too long.
I have made this recipe SEVERAL times since I first received it in my e-mail this past December. I haven't ever shaped it but I serve it in a hollowed out sourdough bread bowl.I reserve the top from the bread and I also buy a couple others to slice and serve alongside. I use rye and Garden Herb Triscuits as well. A very yummy compliment!!
My only variation is I back out 1/4 of the green onion and add 2 cloves of grated, fresh garlic to the cheese and I serve mine slightly warmer(as opposed to being right from the fridge)I let it sit at room temp. for 1/2 hour before I serve it so it's easy to spread. A HUGE hit. I make it for every party now and the leftovers (if you have any) are great for a snack or breakfast on a toasted english muffin. Can't say enough good things about it!!! :0)