Chicken Wellington

Beef Wellington is a classic dish, and you’ll also find my recipe for Salmon Wellington on this site. But perhaps the favorite "Wellington" in my recipe files is a Chicken Wellington I served as a special centerpiece for my sister’s high school graduation celebration.That was several years ago, but I still turn to the recipe often for easy, elegant entertaining.

The wonderful thing about this dish is that it can be prepared ahead.The chicken breasts can be browned on both sides and refrigerated for one day, and the mushroom duxelles can also be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.The chicken, duxelles and puff pastry can be assembled and refrigerated for several hours before brushing with the egg and baking.

I like to serve my Chicken Wellington with a combination of new potatoes, fresh green beans, carrots and radishes that I blanch individually, then reheat in a skillet with butter, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. No sauce is necessary, but your favorite Madeira sauce would be a pleasing addition to the dish.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
  • 1 large egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet. Season chicken to taste with salt and pepper, then brown for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside to cool slightly.

Place mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse several times, until the mixture is finely minced. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet, and add mushrooms, sautéing until they are golden brown. Stir in flour and add cream, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until mixture is thickened. Set aside to cool.

Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square. Cut each square into 2 rectangles. Place a chicken breast on the corner of one rectangle, spread with 1/4 of the mushroom mixture, and brush the edges of the pastry with some of the beaten egg. Fold remaining pastry over the chicken and seal. Use the tines of a fork to create a decorative edge on the packets, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with the remaining chicken breasts.

Brush each pastry with the beaten egg. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.

Makes 4 servings.