Sunday, November 13, 2011

Savory Crescent Chicken Squares

I loved Ceil Dyer’s 1981 book, “More recipes from the backs of boxes, bottles, cans, and jars” for its pop art rendering of packaged foods on the cover before I even opened it. Though I tend to avoid packaged foods, I will say there is something to using them, and that something is called Saving Time. If you are a working mom, you know exactly what I mean, and you’ll get why I’ve since made this, and variations thereof, no less than a few times. The best thing about it is that my 7 year-old daughter not only will eat it, she will help make it!

This book is full of gems, and “all are easy to prepare, every ingredient is readily available and each is truly a classic,” proclaims Ms Dyer. Even some of the more bizarre entries, such as “Breakfast Sausage Apple Pie” (gross!) and Hunt’s Very Special Spice Cake (made with tomato sauce!!) are indeed classics, and I’m on my way to testing them all, but I started with this, a “$25,000 Grand Prize Winner at the 25th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in 1974”. Ceil says she “likes to serve it with a cream sauce and tiny green peas” (YUCK!) but I changed it a bit: I left out the crouton crumbs and the onion and pimiento bits. Do I even need to mention that I used butter, rather than margarine? Do I also need to note that I have never in my life even purchased margarine? Shudder. Anyhow, the other change I made was adding cooked broccoli, which justified my serving it as a meal in and of itself.

Since the first test, I’ve re-made this with different ingredients, or with variations on the original. Which reminds me of an ENTIRE COOKBOOK dedicated to things you can do with Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough… but that is a story for another day!

Savory Crescent Chicken Squares

1 3-oz package cream cheese, softened

3 Tbsp margarine or butter, melted

2 cups cubed cooked chicken or two 5-oz cans boned chicken

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp milk

1 Tbsp chopped chives or onion

1 Tbsp chopped pimiento, if desired

1 8-oz can Pillsbury Refrigerated Quick Crescent Dinner Rolls

¾ cup seasoned croutons, crushed

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl, blend cream cheese and 2 Tbsp of the margarine until smooth. Add next 6 ingredients; mix well. Separate dough into 4 rectangles; firmly press perforations around edges to seal. Spoon ½ cup meat mixture onto center of each rectangle. Pull 4 corners of dough to top center of chicken mixture, twist slightly and seal edges. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops with reserved 1 Tbsp margarine; sprinkle with crouton crumbs. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 4.


  1. You've never purchased margarine--ever?

  2. Nope - I guess I CAN tell its not butter ;)