Saturday, 13 February 2010

Valentine's Recipe: Chicken and Red Pepper Stir Fry in a Heart-Shaped Puff Pastry Tart

Chicken and Red Pepper Stir Fry in Puff Pastry HeartBetter late (or almost late, in this instance,) than never is a very common expression. Although I had intended to start offering Valentine's Day recipe suggestions on this blog last Monday, various things unfortunately got in my way. Here, therefore, is my first such suggestion. The quantities in this recipe are stated per person.


1 chicken breast fillet
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 small onion
4oz puff pastry
1/2 tomato
2oz green beans
2 tsp roughly chopped parsley
Flour for rolling the pastry
Butter for greasing
Eggwash for glazing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


The oven should be put on to preheat to 200C or equivalent. The pastry should then be rolled out in a rectangular shape on a floured surface or board to a thickness of slightly less than a quarter of an inch. A sharp knife should then be used to cut as large a heart shape from the pastry as is possible. It does not require any great artistic skill to cut a heart in this way, merely a steady hand and a little care. If preferred, of course, a template may be employed. If desired, smaller shapes such as stars can be cut from the remaining pastry as an effective form of garnish.

The pastries should then be placed on to a baking sheet, lightly greased with butter. A fork should be used to make holes in the heart, all over, other than a border all around the edges of about 1/2". The pastries should then be glazed with the beaten egg and put in to the heated oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes, until raised and golden.

The chicken breast, red pepper and onion should all be chopped in to circa 1" pieces. A little sunflower oil should be heated in a wok or deep frying pan before the chicken is added and stir fried for about a minute. The red pepper and onion should be added for the second minute.

The green beans should be essentially only blanched, in boiling water for two minutes. The tomato can simply be cut in half or can be presented as I have done by cutting deep around the centre at alternate forty-five degree angles.

When the pastry is ready, it should be transferred on to a plate and the central area which was forked should be very easily depressed. The parsley should then be mixed through the stir fry and seasoning to taste and the stir fry used to fill the heart. The remaining garnishings may then be added.

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