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chicken salad puffs

Let me tell you a little story about my day yesterday. It was the kind of day when you wake up to find that your two year old sneaked out of her bed at some unholy hour and used your deodorant and a paintbrush to “clean” the bathtub. The kind of day when that same two year old somehow grabs a bunch of bananas while she’s eating breakfast, and dismantles every banana in the bunch. The kind of day when your six year old leaves legos scattered all over the living room floor, and you massacre your poor feet by accidentally walking over them.

After a morning like that, I needed something awesome for lunch, and I decided these chicken salad puffs were the way to go. The pâte à choux was surprisingly simple to make, and the chicken salad inside was delish! It was the kind of lunch that made me think that I was at a nice ladies’ luncheon, instead of sitting in my chaotic kitchen listening to the girls fight over whose turn it was to color in the Elmo coloring book. It didn’t quite make up for all the frustrations of my morning, but it certainly got me in a better mood. Try them, and they’ll do the same for you!

Chicken Salad Puffs
adapted from Use Real Butter

for the pastry:
1 cup water
1 stick of butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400. Bring the water and butter to a boil over medium high heat, and stir until butter is completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in flour until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and forms a ball. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition, until the mixture is smooth and satiny. Drop scoops of dough (or pipe if you want them to be prettier) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone liner. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the puffs are golden and puffed up. Puffs are done when they are hollow inside. Remove from oven and let cool.

for the chicken salad:
two cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 medium apple, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup mayo (I used the light mayo with olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together until well blended. To serve, slice each puff in half horizontally and scoop a little chicken salad (about 1/4 cup) into the bottom half of the puff. Top with the other half and enjoy!

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