I am seriously so glad the holidays are over. Annoying websites like MSN.com always post depressing stories on the home page about people who are consistently unhappy during the holidays, and I am one of those people. I love Christmas, and I love the idea of holidays, but the reality I always find them depressing and stressful for some reason. I think it’s because of the holiday emphasis on nostalgia. My nostalgia mechanism serves pretty consistently as a negative propaganda machine, displaying for me a never-ending slide show of positive memories about people I don’t like, that treated me badly, that I haven’t seen in years and usually don’t miss, etc. alongside negative, unhappy memories of the generally nice people who are in my life that I choose to keep in touch with. It’s a vicious system at any time, but the holidays are the worst. I love the routine of the every day, because there’s no time for my backwards mind to play tricks on me.
I digress. Despite this general anxiety over the holidays, I generally do have a lovely Christmas. My family has been spending it at Disney World since I was a child. At this point I feel more at home in the Grand Floridian than I do at my grandmother’s, where normal people spend their Christmases (though she is a very nice grandmother! well, one of them is…). I tried to take a picture to capture the gorgeous Victorian Christmas decorations, the life-size gingerbread house selling baked goods, etc., but the weird angles and constant swarms of people made this pretty much impossible. Here’s a random selection of Disney pictures anyway:
So anyway, at our hotel the concierge provides a bunch of food and drinks throughout the day. Usually we eat out every evening, but one night our reservation was for this Italian restaurant that I didn’t feel hungry enough for. Instead, I spent the evening at the concierge downing multiple glasses of wine and like 16 of these Mini Chicken Wellingtons, and at least 8 Italian Stuffed Bread pinwheels (coming soon!). It was a pretty classy evening…
That aside, these things are surprisingly delicious and super easy. However, they have the added bonus of looking like you put a lot of effort into them, as is the case with almost any puff pastry creation.
Happy New Years! If you’ve made it this far, you should tell me all about your holidays in the comments, or post links to whatever yummy things you had during the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Years season. I generally hate the word “yummy,” but I think it works here.
- 1 Shallot
- 1/2 lb White Mushrooms
- 1/2 cup dry Red Wine (I used Pinot Noir)
- 1 lb. Chicken Breast (I just used two chicken breasts and had a little left over)
- 2 puff pastry sheets
- Egg Wash- 1 beaten egg, teaspoonish Half & Half
- Salt, Pepper.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Defrost puff pastry sheets
3. Finely chop shallot, mushrooms. Combine with wine in large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Cook until mixture is mostly dry, with no visible liquid. Cool.
4. Cut puff pastry sheets into rounds using 3″ biscuit cutter
5. Cut chicken into 1″ cubes (the original had several smaller pieces per Wellington but I was nervous about them getting dry. Someone should try this and let me know!). Season with salt, pepper.
6a. For Mushroom Lovers Who Want a Large Burst of Mushroom: Spoon approximately 1 tsp mushroom mixture onto each round. Top with chicken cube. Pinch edges of puff pastry together and seal with egg wash.
6b. For People Who Wish They Liked Mushrooms More But are Still Kind Of Unconvinced (me): Roll each piece of chicken in mushroom mixture until it’s covered (just a little more well-distributed across the chicken than in 6a). Place on puff pastry round. Pinch edges of puff pastry together and seal with egg wash.
7. Place Wellingtons on baking sheet, brush tops with egg wash, and bake for approximately 30 minutes on 375. Mine were generally done when the tops were nicely browned, but I would strongly recommend doing a test run and cooking one by itself, just because it’s difficult to assess whether or not your oven is cooking them without tearing them open and it would suck to have to tear open a whole batch and then serve them to people all mutilated