Virtual learning and virtual relationships are tough. But sometimes, you can still build a strong connection with someone, even when you are separated by miles, screens, 0s and 1s. This summer, I taught a seminar for rising high school seniors through my local community college. In the course of our assignments and discussions, one of them – an outstanding, hardworking and incredibly kind young lady – talked about one of her favorite family recipes. Ever one in search of a new recipe to try in the kitchen, I asked her to send it to me. She did.
The recipe – for reasons still unknown to me – is called simply “Chicken Boats.” But I suppose if you look at them, the crescent shaped pastries do look a little like boats, nestling a comforting chicken dip inside. I tried them out, adding a few of my favorite seasonings, and I have now made them several times. They are warm and comforting, and probably my favorite thing to do with crescent rolls now. In such difficult, disconnected times, these boats brought me to another person, and maybe the simple act of creating them can help bring me through this quarantine. I hope you try them out, and that they can do the same for you.
What You Need:
1/2 of a 12 oz. can of chicken
1/2 block of cream cheese (4 oz.)
1 can of crescent rolls
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
A few shakes of red pepper flakes
* As usual with our recipes, adjust your seasonings to your taste. If you want them significantly less spicy, leave out the red pepper flakes and the Cajun seasoning.
What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, mix together chicken and cream cheese. If using a saucepan, heat on medium heat until the cream cheese is melted and the mixture blends together. If using a microwave, microwave in 30-second increments until soft and stir-able. (Tip: for quicker mixing, either cut the cream cheese into small pieces, or spoon off a bit at a time, instead of putting a chunk in all at once.)
3. Add all seasonings to the chicken/cream cheese mixture, and stir until well blended.
4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then cover with nonstick spray to keep the crescents from sticking.
5. Open the crescent rolls, unroll, and lay each on the pan.
6. Spoon a tablespoon or slightly less onto the wider part of each crescent.
7. Roll up each crescent loosely from the bottom to the top.
8. Bake for 9 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove and enjoy! (Tip: We like to have these with a vegetable side such as green baby limas seasoned with salt and a few tablespoons of butter.)
NOTE: Each chicken boat will contain about 165 calories as long as you evenly split the basic ingredients of crescents, chicken and cream cheese.