Friday, 2 December 2016

Festive cooking: Chicken cordon bleu croissant wreath

Its DECEMBERRRR! Shrieks in excitement!
As usual this year also flew by so fast. A brand new nephew (who i will meet in a weeks time), a good couple of breaks for Chaiparty, an interesting business preposition, a new house and a pretty decent year if you ask me. Really thankful for all that has been bestowed upon us this year.

Christmas is going to be at home in India with family this year and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it. Baking is on in full swing, to gift to neighbours and friends and this lil number right here was served at a pre Christmas party at mine a few weeks back. Christmas is the time for a table stunner of a dish and i think this Chicken Cordon Bleu croissant wreath will definitely give the guests something to talk about.
PicMonkey Collage 
I was lucky enough to attend a session with Maille at their flagship store in Piccadilly circus and got to taste some of their amazing flavoured mustard and must say I'm hooked on to them. It goes into my pasta's, bakes and with meat and I've also got the husband (a not so big mustard fan) hooked. I have also bought a few favourites like the mustard with carrot, with truffle and the one with garlic as gifts for family back home. They make lovely Christmas gifts, especially for those inclined to cooking.

A while back Maille sent me a gift hamper with their most popular products-  Dijon Originale, Honey Dijon and Wholegrain mustard and I've been thoroughly putting them to good use. They also sent me 2 recipes to use for the festive season, but i just couldn't resist making the cordon bleu wreath where mustard as a product would be put to its full use. Not to worry, I am definitely going to try the zesty carrot cake sometime soon and blog it too. I mean a cake that uses mustard, that should be pretty interesting I'm sure.

Do visit Maille for more festive inspiration including recipes, gourmet mustard flavours and gifts. The core range of delicious Dijon Originale, Wholegrain and Honey Dijon Mustards are available for purchase at most major retailers.
The Dijon Originale and Wholegrain have been used in this recipe, and its such a great addition. They bring forth the mustard presence, but not in an overpowering, annoying sort of way and you still get the other flavours coming through. The honey Dijon has been making its way through to many salads and its perhaps my most favourite of the three. So darn tasty, i can actually eat it on its own :)

I dont think i'd get to update the blog till i get back from India, so here's wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Serves- 3 to 4 as part of a main meal
For the filling
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs- 450 gms
Salt - to season
Pepper- to season
Garlic powder- 1/2 tsp

Maille Original Dijon mustard- 1 tbsp
Mayonnaise- 2 tbsp
Ham slices- 4 to 5, cut in cubes

1 Jus Rol Bake-it-Fresh Croissant can
Parmesan or Swiss cheese- 1/2 cup, grated
Milk- 2 tbsp (for glaze)

For the mustard cream sauce
Butter- 1 tbsp
Plain flour- 1 tbsp
Milk- 1 cup
Maille Multigrain mustard- 2 tbsp
Thyme- a sprig
Parmesan cheese- 2 to 3 tbsp*
Salt- to taste
Pepper- to taste

Cut the chicken thighs into small bite size pieces and cook in a saucepan with salt, pepper, garlic powered and a dash of water.
Cook till done and keep aside till slightly cool.
(You can also cook chicken on the bone, and if doing so, shred it into small pieces once cooked and cooled)
Once cool, stir in the Dijon mustard, mayo and ham slices.
Preheat oven to 180C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Pop open the croissant can and lay out the croissants like a star, overlapping each other and as symmetric as possible. Make sure there aren't any gaps between the croissants.
Place the filling all around the ring and top with cheese.
Fold the croissants over and tuck under the wreath if possible or else, trim a bit and pinch the edge you fold over.
Give the wreath a milk wash and chuck into the oven for about 20 minutes.
While the wreath is baking, get on with the sauce.
Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat, and add the flour. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Add half the milk and whisk with the flour to form a smooth paste.
Pour in the remaining milk, the multigrain mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and  stir continuously until thickened.

Once the croissant wreath is out of the oven, cool on a cooling rack for a couple of minutes after which pour the mustard cream sauce over generously, slice and serve.

Notes: You can do a veg version of this with beans, carrot, corn or even add spinach or kale to the chicken and do a non cordon bleu version.
I have also tried the same with puff pastry, and its equally delicious, but its a pain to get it as a wreath.
The filling can be made a day ahead
I used cheddar cheese as i was out of parmesan

With thanks to Maille for the fabulous hamper.