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This year at Casa Pura Vida, we decided to change up our Christmas traditions, partly because we are spending the 24th and 25th of December in Costa Rica, and partly because we are working to focus more on our religious traditions than the material in our family. So this year- all the presents are under the tree and ready for distribution on January 6th, commonly known as Epiphany, or el Día de los Reyes Magos. We will celebrate with our Rosca de reyes– hiding the baby Jesus figure in the bread- and the person who finds it is to host the next family dinner! I decided to try a new twist on the traditional Rosca de reyes bread, by making a savory, chicken-filled version and topping it with tomatoes and jalapeños. This year will bring everyone together for the holiday and use two of our favorite staple ingredients- Knorr Tomato Chicken Granulated Bouillion and La Morena® Sliced Jalapeños from Walmart. Here’s our savory Rosca de reyes bread recipe:
Yield: 16 pieces
For the dough:
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I use unbleached; white or wheat, depending on preference)
For the chicken filling:
- 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 tsp Knorr Tomato Chicken Granulated Bouillon – 2.2 lbs.
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp celery salt (optional)
For the topping:
- 1 tomato
- La Morena® sliced jalapeños
- 1 egg, beaten
For the dough:
Heat the milk until just simmering, then pour it over the butter and salt. Stir until the butter melts and cool the mixture to room temperature. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the milk mixture, eggs, and yeast. To make the dough, add the flour, one cup at a time, mixing until the dough is soft and smooth. Once you have made the dough, place it in a greased container and cover. Allow to rise until doubled, or about 1.5 hours. (I made the chicken while I waited for this to rise). When the dough has doubled in size, deflate it, cover, and leave for 10 minutes to rest. Lightly flour a smooth surface (I just use my countertop), and roll into a rectangle.
For the filling:
Fill a large saucepan with four cups of water, and add all ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove the bay leaf. Once the chicken and broth reach room temperature, remove the chicken from the broth and shred. The broth can be discarded or used in another recipe.
For the topping:
Drain the desired number of La Morena® Sliced Jalapeños and dry on a paper towel. Slice the tomato into thin strips and set aside. Beat the egg and leave in a small dish at room temperature.
To Assemble the Rosca de Reyes
Place the chicken filling along the top end of the rectangle, leaving about 1/2 inch of dough at the top. If you want, you can hide a doll or toy in this section of the bread (we did a baby Jesus). Carefully roll the dough up and pinch the seam together to seal it firmly. Bring the ends together, forming a ring. To keep the bread in a circular shape you can grease the outside of a bowl and place the bowl in the middle of the ring. Place the dough on a greased baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise a second time, about 30-40 minutes or until almost double in size. You can preheat the oven to 350º F at this point. Once the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap. Brush the egg wash along the top of the dough and press the jalapeños and tomato strips into the top, creating the design of your choice. Bake for 25-30 minutes- this bread will brown fast so I put some foil loosely on top after about 15 minutes. The rosca is fully cooked when the internal temperature measures 190°F. I cooled it on a rack and served warm.
We are looking forward to talking to our daughters about the tres Reyes Magos and the gifts they took to the Holy Family to celebrate Jesus’ birth, and giving our daughters presents to celebrate them as people. I am so excited to share this Rosca de reyes with our extended family too- it incorporates products that are a staple in our home yesterday, today and tomorrow. If you didn’t know, Walmart has an awesome Hispanic foods aisle where you can find other great quality products such as Knorr® bouillon in chicken and beef flavors, and La Morena® whole jalapeños in 7 and 28 oz cans.
How do you celebrate el día de los Reyes Magos?