These Danish-style chicken asparagus tartlets or tarteletter (using the Danish spelling) are a great crowd-pleaser. They’re very easy to make, delicious without being too strange for most people, and can be either a main dish or a snack for a gathering.
When I met my husband, he quickly introduced me to Danish food and I discovered the myriad delights of nordic cuisine. I thought people in Scandinavian countries only ate meat and potatoes (spoiler: they do eat a lot of meat and potatoes!) but I discovered that Danish food is a lot more nuanced, varied and interesting than I had thought at first.
Denmark has been getting a lot of buzz in recent years. First, it was that study that claimed Danish people are the happiest in the world. Then it was the obsession in English-speaking countries with the Danish word hygge; both topics have been covered extensively elsewhere, so I’ll just link to them. However, one thing that hasn’t had enough appreciation is Danish food. Not Noma’s food; the food regular Danes eat everyday. For example, not only are Danish bakeries probably the best in the world (seriously, I’ve been to many countries with great bakeries, but in my opinion, Danish bakeries definitely surpass the best of them!), Danish seafood is fabulous and the desserts are phenomenal.
Anyway, enough gushing, let’s get down to business. This Danish-style chicken asparagus tartlets recipe is one of my husband’s forever favourite dishes. It’s quite similar to a pot-pie, but simpler and, in my opinion, more elegant. I’ve customised the recipe a little; as with all recipes, feel free to add your own touch. The original recipe calls for jarred white asparagus. But since we couldn’t find white asparagus anywhere here in Canada, I used fresh green asparagus instead. I also added a little cheese, for that extra umami savoury kick. The tarteletter bottoms could be replaced with regular mini-tart bottoms purchased from the supermarket. Also, I believe the creamy chicken and asparagus filling would make a great pasta sauce, so feel free to try that out and let me know how it went!
- 2 medium-sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 400 gms)
- 200 grams fresh asparagus (or approximately 15 spears)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose white flour
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 cup homemade chicken stock
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- 10 Danish tartlet bottoms or any store-bought tart bottoms you can find that have a firm crust suitable for savoury recipes.
- Chop up the chicken into small cubes. Saute with a half tablespoon of butter in a pan until cooked through.
- In a large pot, boil some water, add the asparagus for two minutes to blanch or partially cook. Remove and drain asparagus and rinse with cold water.
- Chop the asparagus into one-inch pieces.
- In a medium-sized pot, heat the remaining butter, add the flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes on medium heat, then very slowly add the milk all while whisking constantly.
- After you have added the milk and the mixture is thick and creamy, gradually add the chicken stock until it reaches the consistency of a very thick white sauce.
- Add the chicken pieces and asparagus, season with salt and pepper, cook on low heat while stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for the temperature in Celsius, check the conversions section of this website. Place the tartlet bottoms in a pan and heat them according to package instructions.
- To assemble: sprinkle a little grated cheese into the tarteletter bottom, add a ladle of the hot chicken and asparagus mixture on top. Enjoy!
Have you tried Danish food before? What’s your favourite dish? Let me know in the comments!
© 2019, L.E.. All rights reserved.