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Food Network Favorites: Stuffed Chicken Legs in Puff Pastry with Andouille Cream

My last test from the Emeril Lagasse chapter in Food Network Favorites. In this dish, whole chicken legs are boned, filled with a cornbread and andouille sausage stuffing, wrapped in puff pastry, and served with an andouille cream sauce. There are several steps, and it's definitely not fast food, but the end result is very good. There is, however, a glaring error in the ingredients list.

The list as printed in the book calls for two 17.3-oz. packages of puff pastry. That's the size that the Pepperidge Farm puff pastry comes in, so I think I'm safe in assuming that that's what Emeril has in mind. However, there are two sheets of pastry per 17.3-oz. package, which is where the error lies. The recipe tells the cook to roll out each sheet of pastry and then cut it into 2 triangles, each of which is intended for a chicken leg, of which there are four. So if you start with two packages, you have four pieces of pastry to begin with, and after cutting them into triangles, you have eight. Twice as much as you need. That's a pretty big mistake. I've changed the ingredients list to reflect this, calling for one 17.3-oz. package, which will yield 4 sheets of pastry with which to wrap the chicken.

The stuffing and wrapping are a bit time-consuming, but not terribly difficult. You'll most likely have to request the chicken legs from a butcher, since this cut isn't a standard one. You need whole legs, thighs and drumsticks together in one piece, completely boned save for the very bottom knuckle of the drumstick, which sticks out of the pastry wrapper.

This dish is extremely rich, but the flavors are excellent and it's worth the effort to make it.

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: about 90 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

4 boned (except for the knuckle or joint at the bottom of the drumstick) chicken legs, the thigh and the drumstick all in one piece
2 tsp Emeril's Essence
Andouille Cornbread Stuffing (below)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
17.3-oz. package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, lighty beaten with 1 tsp water
Andouille Cream (below)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the meat of the chicken legs open and sprinkle the inside of each with 1/4 tsp of the Essence. Sprinkle the outside of each leg with another 1/4 tsp of Essence and use your hands to coat thoroughly.

Divide the Andouille Cornbread Stuffing into 4 portions. Stuff the cavity of each leg with 1 portion of the stuffing and close the skin around it. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken legs, in batches if necessary, and sear until well browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. (If searing in batches, wipe skillet clean before searing second batch.)
Remove the chicken legs from the skillet, place on a baking sheet, and refrigerate until completely cool. Remove twine before proceeding with the next step.

Place the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut each sheet into 2 equal-sided 9-inch triangles. Place 1 leg on each piece, seam side down, with the joint hanging over the edge. Brush the edges with the egg wash and fold the edges over to create a wrapper. Pinch the edges together to seal and place, seam side down, on the baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, remove from the oven, and brush with the remaining egg wash. Bake an additional 15 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the chicken is tender.

While the chicken is baking, prepare the Andouille Cream and keep warm until ready to serve.

To serve, spoon 1/2 cup of the Andouille Cream onto each of 4 serving plates and place a baked chicken leg on each.

Andouille Cornbread Stuffing
1 tsp olive oil
4 oz. chopped andouille sausage
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 Tbsp chopped celery
2 Tbsp chopped green bell pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp Emeril's Essence
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 turns freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely crumbled corn bread
1/2 cup chicken stock

Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the andouille and cook until rendered and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the green onions, celery, and bell pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute.

Stir in the Essence, salt, pepper, cornbread, and stock, and cook, stirring and shaking the skillet, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Andouille Cream
1 tsp olive oil
2 oz. andouille sausage, casings removed, then chopped
3 Tbsp peeled and chopped plum tomatoes
3 Tbsp chopped green onions
2 Tbsp chopped onions
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp Emeril's Essence
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the andouille and saute, breaking up the sausage with the side of a spoon, for 1 minute. add the tomatoes, onions, green onions, and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add the cream, Essence, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 30 to 35 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve, or store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat.



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