Braided Puff Pastry Filled With Chicken Fajita is a fun twist on serving fajitas.
Here I have a variety of finely diced vegetables. I’m going to quickly sauté a few of these colorful peppers to use as a garnish when the pastry finished baking. Finally, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves.
Prep Time: 0 minutes (all prep can be done while roasting the chicken)
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1(12-inch) sauté pan, 1 (8-inch) sauté pan, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 small mixing bowl, rolling pin, pastry brush, large spatula, chef’s knife, paring knife, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans lined with parchment paper
Ingredients For Fajita Filling:
2 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, roasted and deboned (approx. 2 1/2 cups of shredded chicken)
2 sheets of Puff Pastry (1 box), thawed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, julienned
1/4 red onion, finely diced
3/4 red bell pepper, julienned (reserve 1/4 red bell pepper, finely diced)
3/4 yellow bell pepper, julienned ( reserve 1/4 yellow bell pepper, finely diced)
3/4 orange bell pepper, julienned reserve (1/4 orange bell pepper, finely diced)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of Fajita seasoning
1 chipotle pepper, seeded and minced
2 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
1 (14.5-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cups of (Green Giant) shoepeg corn, thawed
1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, reduced-sodium
1/2 cup of store-bought cantina-style fresh salsa, divided
1 (8-ounce) package of shredded Colby Jack cheese, divided (substitute Monterey Jack)
2 tablespoons of cilantro, roughly chopped (plus cilantro leaves for garnish)
1 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes
Ingredients For Fajita Seasoning:
8 teaspoons of chili powder
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
4 teaspoons of Kosher salt
4 teaspoons of smoked paprika
4 teaspoons of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of onion powder
4 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
Note: Recipe yields approx. 2 1/2 cups of Fajita seasoning.
Note: 2 tablespoons of Fajita seasoning per pound of meat.
Directions For Fajita Seasoning:
In a medium-size mixing bowl add all the ingredients from the above list, mix to combine. Tip: Store in an air-tight container, in a cool dry place.
The night before, transfer the box of Puff Pastry to the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Place the chicken onto a rimmed baking sheet pan. Rub olive oil over the top of each one. Sprinkle Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper over each chicken breast. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165-degrees F.
In the meantime, prep the vegetables. Drain and rinse the black beans. Transfer to a small bowl. Add the finely diced red onion. Set aside.
Directions For Topping:
In a preheated small sauté pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the finely diced multi-colored bell peppers, a light sprinkling of Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to taste, stir to combine. Stirring occasionally, cook the peppers until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a small mixing bowl. Set aside for garnish.
Once the chicken comes out of the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Uncover and allow the chicken to cool down enough to handle. Remove the meat from the bone. Using two forks, shred the chicken, transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
In a large preheated sauté pan over medium heat add olive oil, diced onion, julienned red, orange, yellow bell peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables get some nice color, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the finely minced Chipotle pepper, Fajita seasoning, and the cooked shredded chicken, stir to combine.
Add the chicken stock and the fire-roasted tomatoes with their juice, stir to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid reduces and the sauce thickens. Finally, add the shoepeg corn, the black beans, diced red onion mixture, and the 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Note: Keep the Puff Pastry in the refrigerator. You want to make sure the pastry stays nice and cold until your ready to roll out the dough.
In the meantime, dust your board with a good sprinkling of flour. Using your hands, spread the flour around. Roll the dough out forming a rectangle (9 x 13) as seen in the pictures above.
Spoon the chicken fajita mixture in a 4-inch strip lengthwise down the center of the dough leaving a 3-inch border at the top and bottom. Top with 1/4 cup of Pico de gallo and half the shredded cheese. Using a paring knife, make cuts 1-inch apart on the long sides of the dough within 1/2 inch of the filling. Alternately cross strips over the filling; press the edges to seal. Using a large spatula, carefully transfer to a rimmed baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process for the second sheet of Puff pastry.
Brush both Puff pastries with *egg wash and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley.
Transfer both pans to the center rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes. Garnish each one of the braided pastries with the multi-colored finely diced peppers from earlier. Top with a few cilantro leaves. Cut crosswise into slices. Serve with a side of my homemade Pico de Gallo. There you have it, my Braided Puff Pastry Filled With Chicken Fajita.
*egg wash: A mixture of beaten eggs and water or milk broth over pastry or dough before baking in order to give an attractive color and shine to the surface.