Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Herbed Chicken & Cream Cheese Pastry Parcels

In one of my last posts I was talking about this adorable guy I have been with for 7 years and am still dating.
He's my husband. Yep! Still dating. I'm going to shut up now because I hear that talking openly about your relationship (at least on social media) is an unlikable trait. Strange, I always like hearing about everyone else's relationships! Anyway, I wanted to share our date night dinner with you because this meal hits the list of favourites in this house. Luke brought home a gift for me one day, the most beautifully bound Italian cookbook called Limoncello and Linenwater. It's filled with nostalgia--old black and white photos, quotes from old Italian mamas and old fashioned good housekeeping advice. It's loaded with delightful Italian recipes that make the reader salivate.
The first recipe we both picked out of the book to create was for these delicious herbed chicken and cream cheese pastry parcels.

Encased in a golden envelope of pastry lies a tender chicken breast, marinating as it cooks in cream cheese, fresh rosemary, sage and thyme.

 The smell wafting out of the oven is sensational and the taste utterly enveloping of the senses. Due to its style of cooking in this herby, cheesy sauce, the chicken breast remains moist and tender, and the texture contrast is lovely.
Apologies for the flash photography-that's the trouble with cooking at the end of the day!

 Herbed Chicken & Cream Cheese Pastry Parcels (Adapted from Limoncello and Linenwater by Tessa Kiros pg. 173)

2 x small chicken breast fillets
3 heaped tbsp cream cheese
4 large tyme sprigs
4 large sage leaves
1 small rosemary branch
salt to taste
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
Remove the pastry from the freezer to thaw.
Meanwhile, pan fry the chicken on medium heat for a few minutes on each side until the exterior is nicely golden.  Strip the leaves off the herbs and chop finely (you should end up with 2 tbsp of herbs in total).
In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese with the herbs, and season with salt.
Cut the pastry down the middle so that there are two even rectangles. Lather both parts of the pastry with half of the cream cheese mixtire. Lay each peice of chicken on each peice of pastry. Use the remaining cream cheese mixture to spread over each chicken breast. Fold the pastry up over the sides of each breast, making sure to overlap some of the pastry so that it holds together over the majority of the breast. (It's ok to have a small gap at the top where the pastry doesnt cover the meat.) Brush a little of the beaten egg over the pastry and discard the remainder.
Cook the parcels for 25-30 minutes, or until the pastry has puffed up and is glossy and golden. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Serves 2

NOTES: The cream cheese can be substituted for sour cream or mascapone.


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