Okay, show of hands…who has a drawer full of a gazillion, individually wrapped fortune cookies that end up in a sack and get moved around the kitchen for 6 months before they finally get tossed into the trash? A couple of times a year or so, I finally pitch them, too. It isn’t that we’re Chinese food junkies or fortune cookie hoarders or anything, we order every now and then, but every time we do, they give us handfuls of these cookies that never get eaten. And if you’re starting to get to know me, you know by now how I hate to throw away food! So when I was shoving them aside, trying to find a battery in the junk drawer, I thought, you know, there’s got to be a way to just use these up in one shot! It’s either use them or lose them time and not save them anymore. So I got looking at them and noticed that one was quite smashed. My mind instantly raced thinking…I could just grind them up and use them as a breading! Why not, right? We grind up other kinds of cookies, it could work, ya think? I had a dab of cream cheese in the fridge….apricot jam….imitation crab in the freezer….now we’re cookin’!!! 😉 I just LOVE those sweet little fried wontons with the “crab”, cream cheese and onion filling inside! I had chicken breasts in the back freezer…and so off like a mad scientist I went to the experimental laboratory in my kitchen donning my white lab coat and goggles to concoct the next new recipe!
We had just recently ordered, so most of the cookies were perfectly fresh and crunchy. Although, I did come across 2 that were kind of old and had lost their snap, so they did get pitched. I found that 16 of them finely crushed yielded 2/3 cup which coated 2 pounded and filled chicken breasts perfectly! I did it. I cleaned them all out and only 2 had to be thrown away. I was feeling very proud of my little self! Now I just had to cross my fingers that they were going to actually taste good. You just can’t throw a bunch of ingredients together and think that they’re going to have a pleasing taste. Some things just weren’t meant to be friends and end up in the same pot. But I’m pretty good at pairing things together and was pretty confident that this would fast become a new favorite. The only thing I was a little worried about, was, that the cookie crumbs might burn before the chicken had a chance to get done. But, luckily, that didn’t happen!
They came out a beautiful golden apricot color! Partially due to the color of the cookies, and partly because of the apricot jam and soy sauce that I basted the chicken with first.
Aren’t they pretty?! The color was just gorgeous! And I’d say about a good 80% of the crumbs stayed on, and only a little bit slid off with a little jam during baking. But even that was good because it slightly caramelized and was almost like candy! Absolutely delicious! And that filling was to die for!! It was simply cream cheese, imitation crab (because I’m allergic to crustaceans), a bit of apricot preserves, and finely chopped onion. Nothing else. Clean and simple. You could of course use real (cooked and chopped) crab meat if preferred, but for this, being mixed with other ingredients and used as a filling, I doubt there would be much of a difference and more reasonable to use a much less expensive version. And imitation crab produced here in the states is usually made from a white fish such as pollack or cod anyways. So, not a big deal or anything gross.
So if you’re looking for a unique, interesting, fun and easy way to use up all those fortune cookies that seem to multiply like rabbits in the drawer overnight, this is just the thing!! Even the kiddos will love this! We thoroughly enjoyed this and I made a believer out of “Mr. Picky” who was quite concerned when I told him what I was going to make! Haha! If you could’ve seen the expression on that poor man’s face…classic. I get that look a lot, but he’s coming around… slowly but surely. 😉 Hope you all enjoy and have a fun day!
SWEET APRICOT FORTUNE COOKIE CHICKEN with CREAMY CRAB FILLING
Serves 2 (Easily doubled)
For Crab Filling:
1/3 cup very soft cream cheese
1/4 cup imitation crab, chopped
1 Tbl. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. apricot preserves
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 tsp. soy sauce
Rest of Ingredients:
16 fortune cookies, snapped in half and fortune papers removed, finely crushed (2/3 cup)
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed, pounded thin, about 1/4 – 1/3″ thick
In small bowl, mix the crab filling ingredients well. Chill.
In second small bowl, stir well the apricot preserves and soy sauce. set aside.
In mini chopper, or blender, finely grind fortune cookies to a fine crumb. Dump crumbs into a shallow bowl or pie dish. Set aside.
Pound chicken breasts, one at a time in a heavy freezer bag or between two sheets of plastic wrap, until thin.
Place half of the crab filling down center lengthwise onto each piece of chicken spreading to cover center third of inside of breasts. Fold outer edges inward, and roll up tightly starting from pointy end. Toothpick closed if desired. *I didn’t and they were fine and didn’t even need it.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes to overnight to firm up filling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil sprayed with cooking spray, set aside.
Unwrap chicken breasts, baste bottom sides (seam sides) with half of the preserves mixture and place down onto cookie crumbs coating bottoms well. Spread tops and sides evenly with remainder of preserves mixture and coat tops and sides well with rest of crumbs patting on. Place onto baking sheet seam side-down. Sprinkle and pat on any extra crumbs.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes or so before serving. Serve hot.