Rather than a more traditional pâté, a chicken picadillo is first made and then whirred up for a filling in these little first-course, Haitian puff-pastry packets. The filling is then sealed in the dough and baked. It's highly spiced for sure, but also very aromatic and a nice start to any meal.
1 habanero pepper
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 pound ground chicken breast
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 teaspoons no-salt-added tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
1 (14-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed (such as Dufour)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
How to Make It
Cut habanero in half. Seed one half of pepper, and leave seeds in other half. Mince both pepper halves. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add minced habanero, onion, and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add carrot; cook 2 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add lime juice and vinegar, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add green onions and next 6 ingredients (through nutmeg); stir well. Remove from heat; cool mixture to room temperature.
Place cooled chicken mixture in a food processor; process until almost smooth (mixture will begin to clump).
Preheat oven to 400°.
Roll puff pastry into a 15 x 12–inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut puff pastry into 20 (3-inch) squares. Combine egg and water, stirring with a whisk. Brush egg mixture along edges of pastry squares; spoon about 1 scant tablespoon filling in center of each pastry square. Fold each pastry square in half; press edges closed with tines of a fork. Brush top with egg wash; arrange 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
These were delicious! I followed the recipe as written. Somewhat time consuming and the puff pastry can be a pain to work with, but I thought they were worth the effort. I put some in the freezer (prior to baking) for when I don't have the time to make them from scratch.
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