About an hour
Chicken Bacon & Leek Tarts
2 frozen pie shells
2 generous tbsp basil or sundried tomato pesto
½ tsp salt
15 cracks fresh black pepper
1 tsp garlic granules
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
2 slices thick cut bacon, sliced into bits
1 onion, cubed
1 large leek, the white part sliced into about 12 rounds, the green ends sliced
½ c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 c grated mozzarella
4 c salad greens
½ c cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ onion, thinly sliced
Fresh grated Parmesan to garnish
1/3 c olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp garlic granules
1/8 tsp salt
5 cracks fresh black pepper
You will notice that I used bocconcini pearls when I created this recipe – they were good, but I think mozzarella would have been much better so this recipe calls for mozzarella!
Step by Step Instructions
Take pie shells out of their pans, place them on parchment lined baking sheets and let them thaw.
If you have time to spare you can brown the leeks, if not, skip this step as it will add about 10 minutes to the prep time.
Melt a tsp of butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot place the leek rounds into the pan and brown them on both sides until they are golden (about 5 minutes per side) being careful to keep them in tact when you turn them over. When they are golden on both sides carefully remove them to a plate and set aside.
Add the bacon bits to the same pan and sauté until they are about half cooked, then add the cubed chicken, salt, pepper, garlic, onions, cherry tomatoes, and leek greens (and whites if you didn’t brown them initially) and sauté until the chicken is cooked through. While the chicken is cooking set the oven to 400°.
The pie shells should be soft enough to work with at this point.
Gently flatten the shells with your hands and pinch the edges up to form a bit of a lip. If the edges of the pie shell have become a bit dry, dampen your fingers a little while you work the edges into a lip.
Place a tablespoon (more if you like!) of pesto (basil or sundried tomato – your choice!) into the center of each shell and use a pastry brush to spread the pesto evenly over the pie shells.
When the chicken is cooked through share the chicken mixture evenly over the two pie shells keeping the filling scant near the edges and more plentiful near the center. Share the grated mozzarella over each tart and if you chose to brown the leeks place them on top of the mozzarella.
Pop the pans into the oven at 400°, side by side, and set a timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes turn the heat down to 350° and bake a further 5 to 7 minutes until the crust and cheese are golden in color.
While the tarts are in the oven make your dressing and salad. Place all dressing ingredients into a small jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake it up to combine and set aside.
Toss all salad ingredients (except the dressing) in a large bowl and set aside until the tarts are ready.
When the tarts are done give the dressing a good shake then dress the salad, toss well, and share the salad over four plates. Sprinkle each salad with fresh grated Parmesan, cut the tarts into quarters and serve two slices to each plate, then sit down and enjoy these slices of pure comfort!