Chicken With Crabmeat And Asparagus In Pastry

This is a dish I got from Kim Kringlie, the chef and co-owner of the excellent Dakota restaurant in Covington. It was on their original menu in 1991, but I don’t think they’ve served it in a long time. It’s kind of an old-fashioned, homely dish. But it is very good. You can make smaller versions of this for finger-food appetizers but cutting the chicken smaller and using the thinnest asparagus.

  • 8 chicken tenders (or four skinless, boneless breasts separated into two pieces each)
  • 8 oz. jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 3 Tbs. chopped green onion, white part only
  • 4 tsp. butter
  • 1 Tbs. Creole seasoning
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Phyllo pastry, cut into eight sheets about 3″ x 8″
  • 24 medium asparagus spears, lightly poached
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Buerre blanc sauce:
  • 4 oz. white wine
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. If necessary, trim the hard, woody parts of the asparagus and peel the bottom third. Steam or poach the asparagus until tender but still crisp. Drain and set aside.

2. Pound the chicken into flat, thin cutlets. Top with the crabmeat, green onions, butter, and Creole seasoning. Sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice over all of it.

3. Brush the pastry lightly with the beaten eggs. Place the chicken atop pastry. Space three asparagus atop the chicken. Roll the pastry tightly around the chicken and toppings.

4. Place the rolls seam side down on a lightly oiled baking pan. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 15-18 minutes, until pastry is thoroughly browned. Insert a kitchen fork into the largest of the rolls and hold it there for five seconds. Carefully touch the tips of the fork to your lips. It should feel quite warm. If not, return the rolls to the oven and cook another few minutes.

5. To make the beurre blanc, combine the wine and the lemon juice in a skillet and reduce by half. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter in pats, until it emulsifies into a translucent, creamy-looking sauce. Return to low heat if necessary to complete the butter addition. Serve the beurre blanc under the chicken rolls.

Serves four.

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