Chicken Friand

A Dallas based faux-French chain of restaurants called La Madeleine,  first introduced Chicken Friand to my family. For years my children would want to go to this restaurant just to eat that one dish. They did not even want to try anything else – it was the only thing they ever tried there and it was the only thing that they ever ate there. I am not even sure if this is even an original French recipe, so I couldn’t find it on any French websites. Since it was such a “constant” with the whole family, I had to taste and guess what it might have – the two major ingredients were chicken and mushroom!  I daresay, it is hard to tell the difference between the original and the home version.
1.    One large boneless skinless chicken breast cut into small pieces
2.    One packet of frozen puff pastry (1.1 lbs)
3.    One medium sized red onion or two shallots
4.    Two cloves of garlic
5.    One teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
6.    1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
7.    ½ teaspoon of salt
8.    11 oz of condensed mushroom soup (preferably the one sold at Trader Joe’s)
9.    35-40 cremini mushrooms
10.    ½ cup of heavy cream
11.    One tablespoon of butter
12.    One table spoon of olive oil
13.    One egg for egg wash

1.    In a medium sized frying pan pour a tablespoon of olive oil and start heating it over low heat.

2.    Peel and chop the onions and garlic into very small pieces and put only HALF them in the frying pan. Set the other half aside for the sauce.
3.    Add pieces of chicken to the pan. While chicken is cooking, stir frequently.
4.    In the meantime slice all the mushrooms thinly.
5.    Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper ( do NOT add too much salt because the condensed mushrooms have salt in them), chopped rosemary and about half of the sliced mushrooms to the frying pan and continue cooking on low heat till the chicken looks cooked (usually takes 6-7 minutes)

6.    Add about 3-4 tablespoons of the condensed mushroom soup to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
7.    Cool the chicken for about 10 minutes and to shred the chicken pieces with a fork and then mix back with the mushroom sauce in the pan.
8.    Flatten out the puff pastry sheets on a cutting board with a rolling pin (each packet usually has two sheets).  Cut the sheets in such a way that each sheet makes about three evenly shaped rectangles.  In all you’ll have 6 rectangular pieces from each packet of puff pastry (see picture).
9.    Heat the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

10.    Spoon in the chicken and mushroom mixture into the puff pastry rectangles and close each rectangle over and seal all sides by pressing with a fork on each side (see picture).
11.    Make egg wash by whisking the egg in a small bowl and mixing 2 teaspoons of water in it.

12.    Brush the tops of the puff pastry packets with the egg wash and place them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 22-25 minutes.
13.    While the puff pastry packets are baking, prepare the sauce.

14.    In a small sauce pan, add the butter and the remaining olive oil and heat over low flame.
15.    When heated, add the remaining onions and garlic to the sauce pan.
16.    When the onions look a little caramelized (a little browned), add the remaining sliced mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.

17.    Add the remaining condensed mushroom soup and the heavy cream to the sauce pan and heat for another 5-6 minutes. If the sauce looks too thick add a tablespoon or so of water and if it looks too liquid, cook for a bit longer. The mushrooms have variable water content and so you may need to observe and adjust the recipe accordingly. The sauce should ultimately look thick and creamy.
18.    Take the puff pastry out of the oven and serve them hot with a liberal amount of sauce on top.

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  1. Permalink Submitted by Kevin on Sat, 18/02/2012 - 23:23

    A lovely recipe – all the tastier for being recommended to us by our Cape Cod friend BF. Will do this one again.
    Milton Kynes

  2. Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Sat, 18/02/2012 - 23:57

    Thanks Kevin!!!! Glad you liked it 🙂 I must thank Betty for the recommendation! Please do pass the link to your friends and family!!!

  3. Permalink Submitted by Shilpa Patel on Mon, 20/02/2012 - 18:01

    Shabnam, this is similar in concept (and no doubt taste) to a “Vol au Vent” – but there the mushroom mixture is placed in a puff pastry vol au vent shell. Pepperidge Farm used to have these shells in the same section as the puff pastry sheets.

  4. Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Mon, 20/02/2012 - 20:36

    Thanks Shilpa – I’ll do some on-line “research” and check out the Vol au Vent recipes…this one I just devised on my own after eating the Chicken Friand at Le Madeleine (which a favorite with my son). Even though this does work well, I should look at the “original” one as well! 🙂

  5. Permalink Submitted by Shilpa Patel on Wed, 22/02/2012 - 15:56

    Shabnam – if you do not have it, then I strongly recommend the Larousse Gastronomique. An English version is available and it is a treasure trove of food and cooking.

  6. Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Wed, 22/02/2012 - 16:39

    Hi Shilpa – in spite of my obsession with food, until very recently I never followed a cook-book…I used to just taste things and experiment on my own…but now I have changed my ways a bit 🙂 I will look for the book you have suggested on Amazon! Thanks for the recommendation!!!

  7. Permalink Submitted by Surbhi on Sun, 15/04/2012 - 21:59

    Hi Shabnam – So I made these today. The family ate them them up. My son home from college ate 2 & packed of the remaining one to take with him.

    I had a couple of questions – I separated the sheets along the lines formed and rolled it out a little more. But them it became hard to transfer the filled pastry to the baking sheet.

    Do you grease the baking sheet? I lined mine with foil to make it easy to clean. But my pastries stuck to the foil.
    Any suggestions?

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Mon, 16/04/2012 - 00:31

      Hi Surbhi – I don’t grease the baking sheets but I do line them with the silicone baking pad (I think the brand is called Silpat – I’ll check and confirm the name for you again – I can’t seem to find my sheet just now) – that makes it easy to take them off the bottom of the sheet easily. Somehow tin foil does tend to make things stick to it because it is a thin sheet of metal and heats very easily. Also to transfer the pastry – it is easier to work with it when it is still a bit chilled and doesn’t stick to your hands. Also a flat large spatula is helpful in transferring the pastry to the baking sheet. I am so glad your family enjoyed this dish 🙂

  8. Permalink Submitted by Glenn on Mon, 23/02/2015 - 07:29

    I’ve made this three times, so far, and my wife say that I have this one “nailed”. I have used herbs de Provence instead of just rosemary, and at each major step I deglaze and reduce with vermouth.
    I also use trader joes uht heavy cream, as I always have it “on hand”. I also use canned ‘shrooms.
    GREAT RECIPE! Thanks

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Tue, 24/02/2015 - 23:19

      Thanks a ton for the feedback Glenn! You made my day for sure! Your addition of vermouth and Herbs De Provence sounds like a terrific idea…I’ll try this the next time I make Chicken Friand. If you try any of my other recipes, don’t forget to send me feedback. Best, Shabnam

  9. Permalink Submitted by Merci on Mon, 11/01/2016 - 00:34

    Just made this and will be sharing! Merci beaucoup!

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Sun, 24/01/2016 - 18:39

      Thanks Merci 🙂 Can you let me know which is your blog/site please?

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