Today my salad consisted of arugula, sautéed chicken, bacon, crisp apple slices, and brie. Another great filling? Try my Chicken Salad with Grapes.
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/4 cup unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
• 2 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.
2. Combine water and butter in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper; add to butter mixture, stirring vigorously over medium-high heat until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms a smooth ball. Remove from heat and cool 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly with a wooden spoon after each addition. Beat until dough is smooth.
4. Spread the pâte à choux dough evenly in a buttered 9-inch pie plate or cast iron skillet, covering the bottom and sides. Bake at 425˚F for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 325•F, and bake an additional 25 minutes.
5. Cool briefly, then carefully remove the pastry "bowl" from the pie plate to a cooling rack.
6. Fill with your favorite salad or the salad below...
Salad of Arugula, Chicken, Apples, and Brie
• 1 skinless, boneless, chicken breast
• salt & freshly ground pepper
• olive oil
• 1 apple, cut into thin wedges
• apple cider
• 2 slices bacon, large dice
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 5 - 6 cups arugula
• Cubed brie or blue cheese
• coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
1. Season the chicken breast generously with the salt and pepper. Heat a small skillet (I always use my mother's cast iron) over medium heat. Cover the skillet with a thin film of olive oil and add the chicken breast. Cook over medium heat, turning once. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Dip the apple slices in the cider to prevent browning; set aside.
3. Cook bacon in a small skillet until crisp; remove bacon, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Add 1/4 cup apple cider, balsamic vinegar, and the brown sugar to the drippings. Cook over medium heat , stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Fill the Pâte à Choux Bowl with arugula. Slice the cooked chicken breast and arrange the chicken slices, along with the apples, and brie on top of the greens. Drizzle with the apple cider dressing and sprinkle with the reserved bacon and toasted walnuts.
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