Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chicken, Onion, and Balsamic Pear Tarts

When I saw Real Simple's recipe for Flaky Mushroom and Gruyère Tarts in their January 2011 issue, I marveled at life's little coincidences. I had just bought puff pastry the week before (it was on sale, and I couldn't resist. Food sales are even worse than clothing ones for me, because I know I'll find a use for the product), and this seemed like the perfect use.

I ended up altering the recipe quite a bit, because my dinner companion is not a mushroom fan. Instead, we subbed onions for the mushrooms, threw in garlic for flavor, and added chicken on a whim. When I couldn't find gruyère at the store, we used a mild white cheddar. The pears and balsamic were the last addition to balance the flavor of the garlic and chicken. The result was a delicious flaky tart with the perfect combination of savory and sweet toppings. I'll definitely be making this in the future.

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 200 g chicken breast, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grated white cheddar
  • 1/2 pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • Heat oven to 400° F (220°C). Unfold the pastry and cut it into 4 squares. Place the squares on a lightly oiled baking sheet and, using a fork, prick the dough all over.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, cook lightly, and then add the chicken. Cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is lightly browned. Add the onions and cook until soft.
  • Dividing evenly, sprinkle the pastry squares with half the cheese, leaving a ½-inch border on each. Top with the chicken and onion mixture, pear slices, and remaining cheese. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

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