Basically, this is chicken done Wellington style. What that means is, like in beef Wellington, it is meat coated with pate (or in this case ground sausage) and duxelles, a mushroom and shallot mixture and then wrapped in a buttery puff pastry shell.
The exact origins of the dish aren’t confirmed although it is typically linked to Brit Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington, who was actually born in Dublin, Ireland (Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, by the way!!) However, it is also similar to an older known French dish called filet de bœuf en croûte so it may be a spin-off of that original recipe.
Beef wellington is an expensive recipe to make because beef tenderloin is a pricey cut of beef. So, this is more like the poor man’s wellington recipe using chicken breasts. Plus one chicken breast coated with all the yummy ingredients and stuffed inside the puff pasty shell is all you need to feed two people in a very decadent way.
I served it alongside some sautéed swiss chard and kale to up the healthy factor on the meal a little bit. I would make this anytime I want to wow my guests or just for a special dinner at home for the two of us again. Wherever wellington maybe have originated from, I hope you give this fun spin on it a try!
My Old Man’s Superb Chicken
Source: Happy Days with The Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver, 2002
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
- 7 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast
- 3 oz. fresh mushrooms, any combination
- 3 oz. ground Italian sausage
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- small handful of fresh, flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 Tbsp. Boursin cheese
- 1/2 package (10 oz.) of puff pastry
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 heaping tablespoon of whole-grain mustard
- 1/2 wineglass of white wine
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp of heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Chop up the mushrooms-half rough and half fine.
2. To a hot pan, add a couple of glugs of olive oil and slowly fry the garlic with the mushrooms, shallot and sausage for about 10 minutes. Season to taste and stir in the chopped parsley. Allow to cool.
3. Pull back the chicken fillet on the breasts and, keeping it intact, score into the breast to make a pocket and stuff the chicken with the cooled Boursin cheese and mushrooms, garlic, shallot and sausage.
4. Using a little dusting of flour and a rolling pin, roll the pastry out to just over 1/4 inch thick. Slice into 2 pieces, lengthways, and wrap around each chicken breast. Brush the pastry with a little egg wash, and cook in the preheated oven for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked and the pastry is golden brown
5. While chicken is cooking, put the mustard and white wine into a hot pan and allow to reduce until you’ve cooked away the alcohol smell. Add the cream and simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, then remove from the heat and season to taste. Slice each chicken breast into 3 and serve with the sauce.