Armadillo Eggs

If you search out “Armadillo Eggs” you find an array of recipes. Some of them are what I consider jalapeno poppers, rather than Armadillo Eggs. Our version of Armadillo Eggs consists of chicken breast pieces inside a jalapeno and wrapped in bacon. A jalapeno popper would be cream cheese inside the jalapeno.

We decided these Armadillo Eggs would be our main meat course for dinner on Friday night so we used more chicken and less bacon than customary for these items. They are typically served as an appetizer so you aren’t expected to eat too many of them.

Ingredients

  • 9 large jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded
  • 2 1/2 large chicken breasts
  • 9 strips of bacon
  • 1 tbsp chili pepper

Directions

Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch strips. Then, lay these inside the hallowed-out halves of the jalapenos.

Here is the chicken  strips placed inside the jalapeno halves.

Here is the chicken strips placed inside the jalapeno halves.

Using one bacon strip at a time, stretch it out and cut it in half. Lay each half length wise over one of the chicken filled jalapenos. We wrapped the ends under the jalapenos to help keep it in place. If your bacon isn’t long enough to do this, you can use toothpicks to hold the bacon on top.

Prepare an oven pan and heat the over to 425 F. We laid some foil on the bottom of the pan to make clean-up easier and put a small rack over the foil to keep the jalapenos elevated above the grease that gathers on the bottom.

Here are the Armadillo Eggs ready for the oven.

Here are the Armadillo Eggs ready for the oven.

Place the bacon covered jalapenos on the rack and then sprinkle with chili pepper. Now put the pan in your oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy.

Armadillo Eggs right out of the oven.

Finished Armadillo Eggs

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Chicken Potpie in a Pumpkin

Here they are right out of the oven. I let them sit for about 10 minutes and then they are ready to eat.

Many years ago we saw Martha Stewart make this on FoodTV. Ever since then, we make this every year during the fall. Sometimes we make it more than once because we usually have extra filling so later we just have to fill the pumpkins. I love the flavors of fall and this one is a great exhibition of the best of fall produce.

We usually use homemade chicken stock in this but you can also use canned stock. Also, the original recipe calls for a pate brisee dough for the covering. We’ve always used frozen pie crust but this year we actually made the pate brisee. It was really easy and turned out great. Recipes with flour always freak me out so I have always avoided them but you really shouldn’t be afraid to make this simple dough.

This recipe is for 6 smallish pumpkins but we usually use 2 medium sized sweet pumpkins. This gives us enough left over to have it at least one more time. The left over filling can easily be stored in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.

Here are most of the ingredients that I was getting ready.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 (2-pound) sugar pumpkins, preferably short and squat
  • 5 tablespoons butter, plus 2 tablespoons melted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pound pearl onions
  • 9 ounces potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 12 ounces button mushrooms, quartered if large
  • 8 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 medium carrots)
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat (recipe follows), reduced by 1/3
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 1/2 cups poached or roasted chicken (from a 5-pound chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 recipe Pate Brisee with Thyme, follow this link for recipe
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. While it’s heating, slice the tops off the pumpkins. (Placing a pumpkin on a towel will help keep it from rolling around.) Scoop out the seeds, and save them, they are great after you toast them! Using a pastry brush, brush insides of pumpkins with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Season insides of pumpkins with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Place pumpkins on a baking sheet; cover tightly with foil. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes.

This pumpkin is ready to be filled. It has already been seasoned and gone through the initial coking.

Prep the pearl onions: my first word of advice is not to worry about peeling them until after you prep them. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Add pearl onions, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold running water. Once you’ve let them cool down, the skin on the onion should come right off with no effort. Set the onions aside.

Melt 5 tablespoons butter in a large, high-sided skillet set over medium heat. Add potatoes and onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes begin to turn golden. Add mushrooms and carrots, and cook 4 to 5 minutes more. Add flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add reduced chicken stock and milk, and bring to a simmer. Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chicken, thyme, parsley, sage, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.
Remove from heat, and divide mixture among reserved pumpkin shells.

Roll each piece of pate brisee to an 1/8-inch thickness. Pull center of dough upward to form a pumpkin like stem. Place over the hollow of each filled pumpkin. Using the back of a small paring knife, mark the dough to simulate the lines of the pumpkin. Brush top of dough with egg wash. Bake until crust is golden, about 45 minutes.