Chicken and Ham Salad Pastry Puffs

So you’ve gotten an invitation for an elegant, standing room only party and have been asked to contribute a cold appetizer.  I suppose little sandwiches are an option.  I haven’t quite mastered elegant sandwiches though.  Jumbo shrimp?  I might need to break open the piggy-bank for that one.  What to do?

If you want to show off your multi-faceted culinary skills and are able to make winner cream puff shells (without holes in the bottoms like I’ve done on multiple occasions), your options open up significantly.   Cream puff shells are a perfect base for elegant, cold appetizer creations.

 

What fillings to use?  The sky is the limit.  I’ve even read about stews being used to fill them–might get a little messy for an elegant party though, so let’s set that option aside.

For this recipe, I’ve used some left-over chicken with some ham.  This means that a little bit of cooking will have to be done ahead of time.  My left-over chicken came from the chicken soup that my husband made the previous day.  Soup one day; yummy cream puffs the next.  This is one of those fillings where some taste-testing is needed.  The proportions in the recipe are really just approximations.

 

You’ll probably need to adjust the mayonnaise, mustard, and seasonings to get it just right.  You want enough mayonnaise so that the filling stays together, but not so much that it is too wet and, well, mayonnaise-y.  Dollop a mouthful onto each puff if you are making these as an appetizer.

Dollop a little more filling if you are making this dish for lunch.

 

Print Recipe
Choux Pastry Shells (Cream Puffs)
Copyright © 2017 HollyTrail.com
Course Basics
Cuisine French
Servings
2 inch puffs
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 5-6 large eggs at room temperature
Course Basics
Cuisine French
Servings
2 inch puffs
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 5-6 large eggs at room temperature
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400⁰F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat (preferred).
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, butter, sugar, and salt.
  3. On medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently (with a wooden spoon) until butter is melted. While stirring, add all the flour at once.
  4. Stir quickly until dough forms a ball and ceases to cling to the sides of the saucepan, about 30 seconds. A light crust should form on the bottom of the saucepan. Do not overcook or over stir. Remove from heat and transfer dough to a large bowl.
  5. Either by hand with a wooden spoon, or using an electric mixer at the lowest speed (paddle attachment), mix in the eggs, one at a time. Fully incorporate each egg before adding in the next egg. Do not mix too vigorously or else you’ll have too much air in the dough. Dough will be ready if your spoon can pull up some of the dough, the dough comes off from the spoon slowly and forms a peak (bending). If the dough is ready, the last egg is not necessary to add.
  6. Use dough immediately while still warm. Fill a pastry bag with the dough, or use a gallon Ziploc bag, cutting off the tip.
  7. Squeeze enough dough around the tip to form 2 to 2 ½ inch mounds. Leave at least 2 inches between each puff.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Leave in oven an additional 10 minutes. Cool on rack.
Recipe Notes

Fill puffs close to serving.  Puffs may be frozen until ready for use.  Defrost at room temperature before filling.

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Print Recipe
Chicken and Ham Salad Pastry Puffs
2017 © HollyTrail.com
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings
cream puffs
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup ham, chopped finely
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped finely (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mayonnaise (or more, as necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons (or to taste) Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon (or to taste) dried herbs (e.g., Italian mixed herbs, herbs de Provence, thyme, or oregano)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 choux pastry shells
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings
cream puffs
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup ham, chopped finely
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped finely (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons prepared mayonnaise (or more, as necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons (or to taste) Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon (or to taste) dried herbs (e.g., Italian mixed herbs, herbs de Provence, thyme, or oregano)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 choux pastry shells
Instructions
Prepare Filling
  1. Mix chicken, ham, celery, and walnuts (if using) together in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, dried herbs, salt, and pepper.
  3. Mix mayonnaise mixture into the chicken mixture until well-combined.
  4. Add more mayonnaise if the mixture is too dry. Adjust seasonings.
Assemble Puffs
  1. Close to serving time, assemble the puffs by first cutting the shells in half.
  2. Put a rounded tablespoon of the filling on the bottom of each half. Top with the top half of the cream puff shell. Arrange on a platter in one layer and serve.
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