I love it when I have friends tell me that they made a recipe off my site or from Pinterest. Or rather, I love it when they rave about a particular recipe. This happened the other day with my girlfriend who saw Chicken Pillows on a “This Weeks Delish!” post awhile back. She said that they were absolutely ammmmmazing and that they were now one of their favorite things to make for dinner. I actually hadn’t tried them myself at that point, I simply thought they looked yummy. Well, you better bet that at the next trip to the grocery store I was throwing the ingredients for Chicken Pillows into my cart. And I am super excited to say that I have made them and that they ARE in fact amazing!
For those of you that are scratching your heads, wondering “what on earth is a chicken pillow?” Well, in this case it is shredded chicken mixed with softened butter and cream cheese, encased in a crescent roll, dipped in cracker crumbs, and then topped with a creamy cheese sauce. Um- YUM! Okay, okay, okay so they are not at all good for you… but who doesn’t want to try something fun, different, and delicious with your everyday chicken breast? This recipe here is it, I’m tellin’ you- easy to whip together and the exact kind of dish everybody in the family will love.
As I mentioned before, I found this recipe floating around the Pinterest atmosphere by Chef-In-Training. The way she has the recipe written is by far simpler than my own adaptation, but sometimes you just got to do things your own way, ya know? Specifically I ex-nayed the whole “1 can cream of chicken soup” thing. The whole recipe was simple enough that surely I could afford the extra effort to make my own sauce. But feel free to go back to her original version- it is of course easier, I would understand.
I used extra-sharp cheddar cheese for the sauce to add a strong flavor component. I also didn’t have saltine crackers so I used a packet of whole grain Ritz crackers- it worked awesome! So I decided to add that as an option within the written recipe as well : )
And I just wanted to share this while I was at it (my preferred method for cooking shredded chicken): In small dutch oven, dissolve 1 tsp table salt in 1 quart chicken broth. Slice chicken breasts into 1-inch slices and place in chicken broth; set aside to brine 30 minutes. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer; cook 20-30 minutes until cooked through. At this point you can shred the chicken using two forks OR you can use my new favorite method- the mixer. Throw the hot chicken strips into the bowl of an electric mixer and let the paddle attachment do the work! Set it on low and keep an eye on it- I walked away from mine the first time and came back to teeny-tiny shredded chicken bits. Whichever method you choose, just keep in mind, chicken shreds best while still warm.
- 1 (8 oz) can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup butter, room temperature
- 2-3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- 1 egg
- 1 sleeve Saltine or Ritz Crackers, crushed
For the Sauce:
- 2 Tb butter
- 3 Tb all-purpose flour
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup milk
- 2 Tb sour cream
- ½ cup shredded cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese and butter until smooth; stir in the shredded chicken.
Unroll the sheet of crescents, pinch the seams together and cut into 6 squares.
Evenly divide the chicken mixture amongst the center of the crescent squares. Pinch the sides together to form a “pillow”.
In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with 1 tsp water. Place crushed crackers in a separate shallow bowl.
Dip tops of pillows into egg wash and then into cracker crumbs. Set aside on a baking sheet; continue with remaining “pillows”. Bake about 20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
For the Sauce: Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Gradually pour in chicken broth and milk, whisking constantly the whole time to prevent lumps. Cook over medium heat, about 3 minutes or until thickened. Take off heat and stir in shredded cheese until fully incorporated. Stir in sour cream to combine; set aside to serve as topping for “pillows”.
You can sub out the homemade cream sauce for 1 can cream of chicken soup + ¼ cup milk + ½ cup shredded cheese + 2 Tb sour cream. Chose your favorite cheese to use! I like extra sharp cheddar with mine : )