Chicken in a Love Nest is a delicious, French-inspired dish that is perfect for a date night in.
I have a fair amount of food traditions and Chicken in a Love Nest is one of them. I watched Rachel Ray fix this on her show many years ago and knew my husband would love it. I’ve made it every year as my homemade Valentine’s Day meal ever since. The flavors of the lemony chicken, butter, wine and Dijon sautéed mushrooms, and Brie cheese all bundled up in delicate puff pastry are delectable.
I’m not big on “fussy” recipes but this is one of my rare exceptions because the kids love it too. These chicken bundles take a little time to assemble but I promise they are worth it. And just because my family eats them for Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you have to. These would be great for any date night in or other special occasion.
I use a whole box (two sheets) of frozen puff pastry for four chicken breasts but I trim a fair amount off when wrapping each chicken breast. I use the extra to cut heart shapes for the top of each “bundle”. To make sure the puff pastry bakes evenly and gets crisp you don’t want to leave a lot of extra dough underneath. That’s my insider tip for this recipe.
Do you have any food traditions in your family? I’d love to hear about them in the comments. Be sure and PIN this recipe to try.
Chicken in a Love Nest
Lemony chicken, Brie cheese and mushrooms browned in butter and wine are baked inside flaky puff pastry.
- 4 6 oz chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 tsps dried thyme
- zest of one lemon plus juice
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 lb button mushrooms stems removed and sliced
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 sheets Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry thawed
- 6 oz Brie cheese rind removed and sliced into 8 slices
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt, pepper, thyme and lemon zest. Brown both sides of chicken in pan, about 4 minutes per side. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the chicken before removing from pan and put it on a plate until ready to use.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the same pan you cooked the chicken in and allow to melt. Add the mushrooms and one teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned. This will take about 8 minutes. Stir in the wine and mustard once the mushrooms have cooked and remove the pan from the heat.
Unfold each sheet of puff pastry, use a rolling pin to roll the seams flat and then cut each sheet of puff pastry in half. Place two slices of the brie in the center of each piece of puff pastry. Divide the mushroom mixture evenly and place on top of the brie slices. Place chicken breast on top of the mushroom mixture.
Fold the pastry over the chicken to seal, being sure to pinch the edge seams together. You will have extra pastry you will need to trim away, as you don't want to have a double layer of pastry underneath the chicken ... it will not cook properly and remain gooey. Place each chicken bundle seam side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cut hearts from the leftover puff pastry scraps and place on top of the chicken bundles.
Beat together the egg and water. Brush the tops of the puff pastry chicken bundles with the beaten egg and water.
Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until pastry is well puffed and browned on top. I use my digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken (should be 165 degrees F) before removing from the oven.