I didn’t take a photo of my bento this week, but this is the star of the box: mini chicken pies! Each one is about the size of a cupcake.
I got the recipe for making the chicken from the LJ bento community. The member who posted it did it for a “harvest”-themed challenge, and she wraped it in biscuit dough shaped to look like a cornucopia. I thought little pies would be good for a non-themed bento.
To make the chicken:
- In a Ziploc bag, combine 1 1/2 tbsp. flour, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. allspice. Shake 4 chicken breast halves to coat.
- Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a pan over medium-high heat, then cook chicken for 5 minutes.
- Turn chicken over and add 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup natural (no added sugar) apple juice, and 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar. Cook for another 5 minutes.
You can stop here and just eat the chicken if you’re making it for dinner or something. But to make mini chicken pies — and really, why wouldn’t you?:
- Remove chicken from pan and allow to cool to room temp. Keep the cranberries and sauce in the pan, but remove from heat and also let it cool down. Dice the chicken once it’s cool enough to handle.
- Open an 8-biscuit tube of layered biscuits, such as Pillsbury Grands, and let them come to room temp. This will make the dough stickier but more pliable, so you can stretch it without tearing it.
- Grease 8 cups of a muffin tin with a little butter and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Carefully pull each biscuit apart so one piece is about 2/3 of the layers and the other about 1/3. This won’t be exact, don’t sweat it.
- CAAAAAREFULLY stretch the 2/3 piece so it fills the muffin cup and sticks over the top a bit.
- Fill with diced chicken and a spoonful of sauce and cranberries, then top with the remaining thinner biscuit piece. Press down with a fork all around the edge. Stick a fork through the top to vent, although I’m not sure this is necessary. Better safe than sorry.
- Repeat until you have 8 little pies, then bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until they’re a nice golden brown.
I think if I make this again, I would add some chopped nuts. Walnuts would be good.
You could, of course, make your own biscuit dough from scratch if you are so inclined. I myself am not.