Chicken Wellington

Kings and queens have dined on Beef Wellington probably since the Duke of Wellington beat Napoleon at Waterloo. This delicacy is a filet of beef cooked with goose liver pâté mixed with a mushroom stuffing that has been wrapped in pastry dough--a completely unique experience. Don't let life pass you by without at least trying it once!

But, both beef and pâté can drain a pocketbook. Why not try chicken with a mushroom stuffing? It's a little bit of work, but this fancy dish will definitely impress your friends and relatives. To serve Chicken Wellington for 4 people, you'll need:

2 lb.             mushrooms
2 cloves          garlic, minced
1/8 cup           diced shallots, minced
1 cup             dry white wine
4 ea.             boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 piece           puff pastry dough

Finely dice the mushrooms in your food processor (or by hand), then add the garlic and shallots. Place this mushroom mixture in a sauté pan and add your wine. Let simmer until the liquid has evaporated. Do not over cook. The mushroom mixture should still be moist. Let cool down.

Cut the chicken breasts in half. In another pan, brown the chicken breasts, but do not cook all the way through. Let cool. Take your puff pastry dough and cut into quarters. Place a piece of golden brown chicken in the center one piece of the dough. Spread with a spoonful of the mushroom mixture then add another piece of chicken on top. Layer with a final dollop of the mushroom mixture. Now we start to wrap. Think of a large wonton. Take one corner and pull it all the way across the chicken. Take the opposite corner and do the same--sticking the two together. Do likewise with the other two corners. Voilŕ! Repeat with all the remaining chicken pieces.

Put a piece of baking paper on a cookie tray and place your chicken wellington upside down on the paper. Brush with a little egg mixed with cream and cook at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Add some Madeira wine to your homemade beef gray and reduce. This would make a perfect little sauce to top off your Chicken Wellington. What wine? Try a Raymond Sauvignon Blanc from California's Napa Vally. I think the grassy-herbiness of Sauvignon Blancs are more versatile than Chardonnay. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.