Smoked Chicken and Winter Squash Blintzes
- SERVINGS: 4
Blintzes are traditionally stuffed with sweetened fresh cheese or potatoes, but this inviting cold-weather recipe proves the value of innovation.
- 1 medium winter squash, such as butternut, halved lengthwise and seeded (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, white and tender green, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound smoked chicken breast, skinned and cut into 1/3 -inch dice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup milk
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 melted
- Sour cream or yogurt, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Set the squash, cut side down, on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until tender when pierced. Let cool, then scoop out 2 cups of squash.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the leeks and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the squash, chicken, 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and the thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt; whisk in the eggs and parsley, then whisk in the milk to form a smooth batter. Add the melted butter and mix thoroughly.
- Heat a lightly oiled 8-inch skillet. Pour in 3 tablespoons of batter and quickly tilt the skillet in a circular motion to spread the batter evenly. Cook over moderate heat until the blintz is lightly browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the blintz, cooked side up, to a plate. Repeat to make 11 more blintzes.
- Spread about 1/4 cup of the filling along 1 edge of the cooked side of the blintz. Fold in 2 sides of each blintz, then roll it up like a burrito; flatten slightly. Set the rolled blintzes, seam side up, on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
- In a large heavy skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter over moderately low heat. Add 6 of the blintzes, seam side up, and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Turn the blintzes and brown the other side. Transfer to a warmed platter and repeat with the remaining butter and blintzes. Serve the blintzes at once, with maple syrup and dollops of sour cream.
Smoked chicken is an easy match with just about any wine, but leeks, maple syrup and squash add a sweetness best matched by a light, fruity Pinot Noir from California or Oregon.