A favorite party appetizer is Pigs-in-the-Blanket, which I've modernized with freshly ground chicken mixed with bacon, grated apple and Gruyere cheese, thus giving the hors d'oeuvre a French make-over. These can be prepared days ahead and frozen, and then popped into the oven straight from the freezer.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 48-60 appetizers
- 1-½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken tenders
- 1/3 pound bacon
- 1 apple, cored, peeled and grated
- 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 package frozen puff pastry, defrosted according to directions
- 2 egg yolks beaten separately
- Honey mustard for dipping
- Cut the chicken breast or tenders and the bacon into 1-inch pieces. Transfer the meats to a plate and chill in the freezer 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and bacon from the freezer. If you have a meat grinder or meat grinder attachment to a standing mixer, pass the meats through the smallest grind. Alternatively, pulse the meats in batches in a food processor until ground as if for hamburgers. Transfer the ground meats to a large mixing bowl.
- Combine the grated apple, Gruyere, salt and pepper with the meats. Test the seasoning by quickly sauteing a quarter-size disc of the meat mixture in a small saute pan. When fully cooked, taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch by 17-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the rolled-out puff pastry down the center.
- Moisten your hands with water, then roll out a portion of the sausage into a 1-inch diameter log, and lay it on one half of the puff pastry square, leaving a ½-inch border from the top. Brush the ½-inch border above the sausage and 1-inch below the sausage with the egg yolk. Roll the puff pastry over the sausage and overlap, pressing to seal. Cut the sausage roll from the puff pastry square and lay it seam-size up on a small baking sheet (it will need to fit in your freezer).
- Make 2 more sausage rolls from the square, then repeat with the remaining square. You should be able to get a total of 6 rolls for each sheet of puff pastry. Put the sausage rolls in the freezer and chill 30 minutes, while you make 6 more rolls from the second sheet of puff pastry.
- Remove the chilled sausage rolls from the freezer, and slice into 4 or 5 pieces. You can freeze the "pups" at this point in a freezer plastic bag.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay the pups seam-side down, and brush with the second egg yolk. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pups are puffed and golden. Wait 5 minutes before serving with honey mustard.