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REC: Brioche Stuffed with Chicken Artichoke Salad

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wigs@juno.com
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Posted to Thread #14957 at 9:44 pm on May 29, 2009

BRIOCHE STUFFED WITH CHICKEN ARTICHOKE SALAD (Serves 6 to 8)

Recipe is from Helen S. Fletcher's cookbook, THE NEW PASTRY CHEF.

BRIOCHE DOUGH

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
Pinch of sugar
2-1/2 cups bread flour, sifted (285 grams or 10 ounces)
1-1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use 1 teaspoon salt. Wigs)
3/8 pound (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, refrigerated
3 eggs, at room temperature, size large
1/4 cup half and half -or- light cream, at room temperature

In a 1-cup measure, dissolve the yeast in the water. Make a sponge by adding 3 Tablespoons flour from the total amount of measured flour and also add the pinch of sugar. Stir well and place in a plastic bag and tie shut. Let sit to double in bulk, about 15 to 20 minutes.

In food processor bowl fitted with the steel blade, place the remaining flour and the salt and sugar. Process 5 seconds to mix. Cut the cold butter into 3/4 inch pieces and place in a circle over the dry ingredients. Process until the butter is indistinguishable in the mixture, about 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process 5 seconds more. Place the eggs in a circle over the dry ingredient mixture; pour the cream over the eggs; and add the sponge, also in a circle. Process approximately 20 to 25 seconds until the ball which initially forms breaks down into a creamy, evenly dispersed batter in the processor bowl. Do NOT stop processing, i.e., do not turn off the motor, until this batter is formed, as the motor may stall when you try to restart it. (In other words, let the processor run continually for the full 20 to 25 seconds until the evenly dispersed batter is formed.)

The batter will be very sticky and that is as it should be. (Brioche batter is not like a regular bread dough.) Remove from the processor bowl and place in an un-greased bowl. The batter has very little elasticity and is easily managed with a large plastic pastry scraper. Cover securely with plastic wrap directly on top of the batter and then cover with a towel. Let rise at room temperature 2-1/2 to 3 hours, longer if the room is cool, until doubled in bulk. Stir down with a spoon, recover with plastic wrap, then cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. (Can leave in refrigerator for up to 3 days.) This dough may rise again in the refrigerator or it may not. Deflate the dough and use as directed below.

NOTE: This dough may be held in the refrigerator up to 3 days before using.

BRIOCHE FOR STUFFING

1 recipe Brioche Dough (above)
1 egg, well beaten
2 to 3 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Prepare a 7 or 8-inch brioche pan by spraying it with lecithin spray or by buttering it well. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Place on a lightly floured surface and roll (by hand) into a smooth ball. Place in the prepared pan. (I push down on the dough to force it into the the pan's curves/flutes. Wigs) Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the brioche with the egg wash, being careful not to let any of the egg wash dribble down the side of the pan (you do not want to let the egg wash puddle in the bottom of the pan), and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until well browned and hollow-sounding when tapped. (I bake until the internal temp of the loaf is 190 degrees F. Wigs) If it browns too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil. When done, remove bread from oven. Cool 10 minutes in pan, turn out onto a rack and cool completely.

MUSTARD TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE

1 small shallot
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Freshly ground white pepper

With the steel blade in the processor bowl and the machine running, drop the shallot down the feed tube. Mince finely. Scrape the bowl down. Add the salt, tarragon, egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and vinegar. Process 10 to 15 seconds to mix very well. With the machine running, slowly pour the oil down the feed tube. After all the oil has been added, process 5 seconds more. Season with pepper. Taste to see if any additional salt needs to be added. (Can keep vinaigrette in refrigerator for several days.)

CHICKEN ARTICHOKE SALAD

1 medium sweet red bell pepper
2-1/2 cups cubed poached chicken
Scant 2 cups quartered artichoke hearts (about one and a half 14-ounce cans), drained
1 recipe Mustard Tarragon Vinaigrette (above)
1/4 cup sour cream

Quarter the red pepper vertically and remove the pith and seeds. Cut each quarter in half vertically and remove the skin with a vegetable peeler. Chop coarsely. Combine the red pepper, chicken and artichokes in a large bowl. Whisk vinaigrette and sour cream together and add to the chicken mixture. Stir well (I fold together using a large rubber scraper), cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.

Cut the top off the brioche. With a sharp knife, cut 1 inch in from the edge of the bread and go all around the edge of the brioche and down to within about 1 inch from the bottom. Pull the soft center out of the brioche. Just before serving, stuff the hollowed-out brioche with the Chicken Artichoke Salad. Replace the top. Cut into wedges to serve.

NOTE: Frozen artichokes instead of canned may be used. Asparagus cooked just until crisp-tender may be substituted for the artichokes, or you could use hearts of palm. Shrimp, crab, or scallops can be substituted for, or combined with, the chicken. A 3-1/2 to 4-pound chicken will yield the needed meat.

To Make Ahead: The brioche may be made, baked, cooled, wrapped well and frozen several months ahead. Remove from freezer, keep wrapped and defrost on a rack. The chicken salad should be made the day before serving. Assemble at the last minute, i.e., stuff chicken salad into brioche at the last minute.

(It is certainly visually impressive to serve the brioche stuffed, but I have also served the chicken salad on top of a lettuce leaf or atop a small mound of fresh greens so I can slice the brioche separately to serve w/ butter because I don't like wasting the delicious crumbs that you have to pull out of the loaf in order to fill it with the chicken salad. Wigs)

Copyright @ 1986 by Helen S. Fletcher from the book THE NEW PASTRY CHEF, published by William Morrow & Co., Inc., New York.


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