Yes, braid! This is a deceptively easy to make entrée that will make everyone’s eyes POP and be convinced you worked like a fiend to make this! They will not believe you when you tell them it was just as simple as pie – because it is!
Versatile, too – you can use leftover chicken, turkey or tuna and add broccoli, leave out the artichokes if they’re not a family favorite. I often throw in a handful of sliced mushrooms, just because….If you like, instead of the braid being vertical, you can twist the ends around and make a ring! Fill the center with a great summer salad, and pass the dressing separately.
It’s good cold, too, so makes a nice lunch with some fruit the next day or, pack it with an icepack and take it to work for a lunch treat. Reheat in the oven (or toaster oven) at 325 just until it’s warmed through so the braid doesn’t burn. I don’t advise the microwave….that will make the braid soggy. And, no hair clips needed!
Chicken Artichoke Braid
- 1 chicken breast, cooked and coarsely chopped (or 2 cans tuna, drained & flaked)
- 3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 c sour cream (lite is OK)
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 pressed garlic clove
- 1 small red bell pepper, in about 1/2″ dice
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained & quartered (not the ones in oil)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tube crescent roll
- 1 tsp. butter, melted, optional
- Few pinches Herbes de Provence (or dill if using tuna), optional
Preheat oven to 350.
Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper and unroll crescent dough onto parchment. Pinch seams together making a rectangle. Be sure there are no holes in the dough. Set aside.
Combine chopped chicken, cheese, sour cream, scallions, mustard, garlic, bell pepper and artichoke hearts in large mixing bowl. Mix well. Carefully spoon chicken mixture in a line down the middle of the crescent dough covering about
1/3 of the dough and leaving a plain 1/3 border on each side of the chicken.
With a sharp knife, cut 8 slits at an angle from the dough edge up to the filling making each slit an equal distance from the prior one. Repeat on the other side and try to get the slits lined up. Sometimes it’s easier to make the slit on one side, then do the other side, then back and forth. When all slits are made, starting at the top, pinch end together; then take 1 strip and lay it across the filling; take the 1 facing strip from the other side and lay it across the filling just barely overlapping the first one. Don’t pull the strips or they may tear. Continue until the braid is complete. Pinch the bottom end (same as you did on the top).
If desired, brush braided strips and sides lightly with melted butter and dust with Herbes de Provence or your favorite herb blend (or dill blend if using tuna).
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cut with a bread knife or pizza cutter.