Monday, March 14, 2011

Chicken & Broccoli Braid

I like to think that I'm fairly smart. I graduated college with honors, have held down good jobs, and can hold a reasonably intelligent conversation when need be. However, this little recipe had me completely and utterly baffled.

I had several Pampered Chef shows scheduled for this past week, and the host of the show I was doing Friday requested that I make this Chicken and Broccoli Braid at her show. Being that I've never made it before, I figured that it would be a good idea to make it at home first so that I could put it together easily at the show. Boy, am I glad I did! I got started with the recipe. Mix up the feeling - easy! Roll out the crescent roll dough - easy! Braid the dough - um....what? I must have read the instructions 10 times and STILL couldn't figure out how to make the braid. I finally did what any truly "smart" person would do - I went to You Tube and watched this demo. *cue light bulb over head* Aaahhh! Once I saw the braid done, I realized how incredibly easy it really was. I braided my dough, stuck it in the oven, and was rewarded with cheesy, doughy goodness afterwards. Joe said that, if eaten fresh out of the oven, this may be his new favorite meal. And all the guests at my show on Friday went nuts for it! So don't be intimidated by the braiding - if I can do it, YOU can do it!

(The braid in the picture is a little different than the one in the recipe. Since I made this one at home for Joe, I used Chipotle mayo instead of regular and subbed chopped bacon for the broccoli. So feel free to be creative with your fillings as well!)

Chicken & Broccoli Braid

1 cup (250 mL) chopped broccoli florets
2 cups (500 mL) chopped cooked chicken breasts
1/2 cup (125 mL) diced red bell pepper
1 cup (250 mL) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 tsp (10 mL) dill
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
2 pkg (8 oz or 235 g) refrigerated crescent dough (the new Recipe Creations seamless dough would be even better!)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tbsp (30 mL) slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Combine broccoli, chicken, bell pepper, cheese, mayonnaise, dill mix, pressed garlic and salt in Classic Batter Bowl; mix well.

Unroll one package of the crescent dough; do not separate. Arrange longest sides of dough across width of Rectangle Stone. Repeat with remaining package of dough. Using Baker's Roller®, roll dough to seal perforations. On longest sides of baking stone, cut dough into strips 1 1/2 in. (4 cm) apart, 3 in. (7.5 cm) deep. (There will be 6 in./15 cm in the center for the filling.)

Spread filling evenly over center of dough. To braid, lift dough strips across filling to meet in center, twisting each strip one turn. Continue alternating strips to form a braid. Tuck ends up to seal at end of braid. Brush egg white over dough. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake 25-28 minutes or until deep golden brown