Diehard "American Idol" viewers will remember Sarah Sellers as the geek-chic food blogger who made it to Hollywood Week last year. (Watch her Season 10 audition here.) Sarah has since continued her food-blogging, and has been cooking up scrumptious snack suggestions for any "Idol" viewing party and posting them here in Reality Rocks each week.
So tonight, Season 11's female semifinalists will compete for the first time this year, for a spot in the overall top 13. So Sarah is serving up chicken, for the top 12 chicks! Enjoy.
Chicken Puffs with Pesto
Yields 24 puffs
▪ 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
▪ 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces (the smaller the better)
▪ salt and pepper
▪ 1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
▪ 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
▪ 1 package fresh mozzarella
▪ 1 egg
▪ 1 cup tightly packed basil
▪ 1 tbsp pine nuts
▪ 1/2 lemon, juiced
▪ 1 garlic clove
▪ 1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
▪ salt and pepper
▪ 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400.
To make the chicken heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper and sauté until almost cooked through, around 5-8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Lay the puff pastry on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Smooth with a rolling pin and cut 3x3 inch circles in the dough. Roll out any extra dough for the remaining circles. Top the pastry with a small piece of cheese and sprinkle with the thyme. Top with a few pieces of the chicken and close the pastry around the filling, using your fingers to pinch together. Less is more--don't pack in too much chicken.
Mix the egg with a little bit of water. Seal the edges and lightly coat the tops of the chicken puffs with the egg wash. Bake until golden-brown.
While the chicken puffs are baking, mix together the basil and next five ingredients, through the salt and pepper, in a food processor or blender. Slowly pour in the olive oil until smooth and creamy. Adjust the seasoning.
Check out Sarah's food and music blogs at http://sarahsmusicalkitchen.com