Oh you know this looks good, and it is. Cheesy, creamy tender and delicious Chicken Croissants… a dish I’ve made for years that was passed down from my mom long before the days of the internet and millions of meals easily found on Pinterest. It’s a little bit of a pain to make, so I don’t make it as often as my family would like but when I do there are no leftovers that’s for sure. Even my 8 year old son happily gobbles these chicken croissants down and then compliments my cooking! Win, win.
If you’re looking for a slightly fancy and gourmet tasting dish to make for Valentine’s Day this Saturday, this is it. It’s not hard to make at all, it’s just not something you whip up in 20 minutes like my easy go-to dishes for the busy work week. Add a nice fancy veggie like asparagus or a salad and serve fruit with it (like strawberries!) and you’ve got a dinner worthy of waiting in line for 2 hours like you know you will on Valentine’s Day evening. Why not top the special dinner with my Cherry Cheesecake? Now that is a Valentine’s Day dinner your sweetie won’t soon forget.
Just so you know, the cherry cheesecake needs to set up, so make it a night ahead or at least several hours before you plan to serve it. It’s another easy recipe but oh so delicious! No baking required!
- Chicken, cooked – I use about a pound plus a couple ounces chicken breasts
- Pillsbury Grands! Crescent Big & Flaky dinner rolls 8 count (dough)
- Philadelphia Cream Cheese – I use about an 8 oz package, softened
- paprika, salt & pepper, poultry seasoning
- sugar – about 2 tablespoons or to taste (may be omitted)
- butter or margarine (the margarine spreads better, I used Country Crock)
Cook your chicken. Now I have done this a few different ways, grilled the breasts (usually too dry)… bake a whole chicken and pick it apart for the meat (time consuming but you get a lot) . I’ve poached (thawed out) frozen chicken breasts – easy but I wonder if it makes the chicken watery and again more time consuming. (Poaching is just simmering the meat in water.) For my cooking, if you’ve read any of my other recipes, I favor my pressure cooker – the king of the kitchen! I won’t go on about how I love my pressure cooker but it is the fastest way to get moist, flavorful chicken for this recipe. You can plop a whole chicken in there if you want and it still would take less time than the other ways or you can do like I do and just use chicken breasts cause who has time to pick off all that chicken? I do use the colander that came with my cooker to keep the chicken off the bottom and out of the liquid, so it basically steams the chicken. Oh, and here is where I sprinkle on the poultry seasoning. You can also change up the recipe here by adding spices and flavored liquids instead of water to your chicken to flavor it, pressure cooking infuses your food with whatever you have in there. Get creative.
Of course if you’re really pressed for time or just want to go this route you can buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery. Those always smell so good, but again you’d have to be pickin’ that chicken!
Onward… turn on the oven 350˚ F
You’ve got your chicken cooked and ready. Now you shred it. If there is an easy way to shred chicken, I’m not aware of it. I can tell you that I’ve found it easier to shred it while it’s hot. So use two forks and start pulling it apart and try not to burn yourself. Do this on a plate or cutting board and transfer your shredded chicken to a medium to large bowl for the next step.
Sorry no pictures (I forgot to take them) but imagine me happily shredding my pressure cooked chicken, and totally not cussing when I burn my fingers cause it’s so freaking hot, then scooping up chicken and throwing it in a big blue glass bowl as I go.
*I’ve also used a food chopper (a Pampered Chef bang with the palm of your hand kind) but I don’t recommend it. I don’t like the texture the chicken turns out to be, it looses all the texture really. If you over chop it, which is easy to do, you’ve got mush. I speak from experience, it also takes away from the dish if you ask me. Texture plays a huge part in whether I like something or not.
Add spices, sugar, cream cheese and mix together with a fork. I’ve got all my chicken shredded in the bowl and now I sprinkle on salt (liberally), pepper to taste, paprika (more for color I think) and sugar. This is wear you can get creative with different spices. I’ve thought of making it more of a spanish flavor with taco seasoning but never have done it, but I’d bet it’s good. You could go more herby (is that a word?) with your favorite herbs, fresh herbs would look nice in here. What do you put with chicken? Thyme, basil, marjoram? I don’t know, I’m no chef, just a cook. Down and dirty, usually. Mix all that up with a fork.
Add in softened cream cheese. I usually pop my cream cheese in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Just enough to warm it a bit, that makes mixing it into the chicken and spices a whole lot easier, too. So go ahead, mix it up! By the way, you can use light or fat free cream cheese with little to no difference)
Spoon mixture on the dough. Now you’ve got this delicious and totally eat-able (hey you gotta taste is right?!) mixture ready to spoon on 4 flat crescent rolls (dough). If you use the Big & Flaky kind you don’t need to stretch the dough. If you just have the regular size*, you’ll need 2 cans of dough and I usually stretch them a bit to make them bigger. You don’t have to stretch them, you could just spoon them on at that smaller size but then a serving would be a lot smaller unless you ate more, but these things (crescent rolls) are quite a few calories and you’re eating two crescent rolls for one serving already, just sayin’. Also, I’ve used the low fat variety, usually found in the smaller size, and discovered they don’t stretch as well. Same goes for generic. Certain things are just better name brand in my opinion.
*if you use the regular size (6 in a can) you’ll need 2 cans and you’ll probably have left over dough unless you spread your mixture thinner (not a good place to skimp). I use the extra dough to make little tarts – just open a can of pie filling, spoon on, press closed and bake. Drizzle a little icing on made from powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Yum!!
Here’s what it should be looking like. Try to get the tasty mixture up into all the corners. I didn’t do too good a job on this batch.
Next, Place the other 4 pieces of dough over the top, stretch a bit to reach the edges and pinch them to seal them.
Gild the lily by slathering butter or margarine on top of the dough for extra golden brown, buttery flavor. Mmmm…
Bake for 15 minutes or so. But stay close by, you don’t want all this work to burn. Ovens vary, so use your nose to tell when they’re ready.
These are best served hot out of the oven, so have all your sides and table ready. Remove carefully with a spatula and plate up. For make ahead, take them off the pan, let them cool and wrap them with foil and freeze or keep in the fridge a day or two. To serve, remove foil and warm them up in the oven. I’ve stored them on pie pans and go straight from fridge to oven. This isn’t the best way to enjoy these and you need watch to make sure you don’t burn the crust. So, if you know you’ll be making these ahead I wouldn’t bake them as long the first time, bake just enough to cook the dough but not really brown it.
These are sooooo yummy, and they smell divine baking. I never have any to freeze and I’m not nearly organized enough to think ahead to actually make a ton of pre-shredded chicken which is really a good idea for all kinds of meals.
Pretty, huh? Feel free to pin. I’m on Pinterest, check out my pins here. Have you ever made anything like my chicken croissants and/or have ideas for changing it up? I’d love to hear about it, please share your comments below.
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