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Chicken strudel with fresh tomato compote

Shaun Murphy was facing a chef's worst nightmare: a dining room full of guests and nothing to feed them. And running around the corner to the market was absolutely out of the question. Murphy was cooking aboard a train that ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes, plus cooling time for the mushrooms | Serves 7 to 8

Chicken strudel

  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced brown mushrooms, such as cremini (larger portabello mushrooms can be used, with gills removed and mushrooms diced)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture
  • 1 cup diced cooked chicken
  • 1/4 pound cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese (a mixture including Jack, cheddar, mozzarella and/or provolone works well, but be careful not to use Swiss)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg, whisked (optional)
  • 10 large phyllo sheets (about 14-by-18-inches)

Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Step 2Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and saute until the mushrooms are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and place the mushrooms in a medium bowl to cool.

Step 3When the mushrooms are cool, stir in the spinach and chicken. Add the cream cheese, gently tossing in almond-sized pieces, then gently stir in the shredded cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, stir in the egg to use as a binder.

Step 4Layer 5 sheets of phyllo one directly on top of another, lightly brushing each with olive oil. Place half of the chicken filling in a log shape along the short end of the phyllo rectangle. Roll the filling in the phyllo, similar to a burrito, tucking in the edges as you go to prevent the filling from spilling out. Brush the top of the strudel lightly with olive oil and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining 5 sheets of phyllo and filling.

Step 5Bake the strudel until lightly golden-brown on top and warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly before slicing.

Fresh tomato compote and assembly

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large beefsteak tomatoes, coarsely chopped (skins and seeds optional)
  • 4 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh basil (from about 5 large leaves)
  • Dry white wine, for thinning the sauce, if desired
  • Chicken strudel

Step 1Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and tomatoes and saute, stirring frequently, just until they start to break down, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the garlic softens and the sauce begins to thicken, about 10 minutes.

Step 2Stir in the cream and season with 1 teaspoon, or to taste, of salt and several grinds of fresh pepper. Stir in the basil and thin, if desired, with white wine. Remove from heat.

Step 3Slice the strudel into wedges and serve with the tomato compote.

Note: Adapted from Shaun Murphy's "Derailment Special." Served on the private rail car the Scottish Thistle.
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