Easy Do Ahead Tarragon Chicken in Phyllo

For those of you who have been waiting breathlessly for the recipe Rusty referred to in the Third of July post, this is it!   I have to credit my mother for it, she was a phenomenal cook, and I’m sorry to say I inherited none of that.   But this recipe is so easy, even I can prepare it.

I don’t know the original source for this recipe, but it was referred to as a caterer’s delight. The prep is simple, and the wrapped breasts can be frozen, needing only to be thawed before baking.

Chicken Breasts in Phyllo

3/4 C mayonnaise
1/2 C chopped green onion
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tsp dry tarragon (or about 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped)

6 chicken breast halves, boned and skinned
Salt and pepper
12 sheets phyllo dough*, thawed
2/3 C butter, melted
3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

Combine first 5 ingredients to make a sauce.  Lightly sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Place a sheet of phyllo on working surface.  Quickly brush/dab with melted butter (about 2 teaspoons) and place a second sheet of phyllo on top of the first.  Brush again with melted butter.   Spread about 1 1/2 tbsp of sauce on each side of chicken breast.  Place breast in one corner of the phyllo sheets.  Fold corner over breast, then fold sides over and roll breast up in the sheets to form a package.  Place in an ungreased baking dish, or cookie sheet lined with parchment if you’re planning to freeze them.  Repeat with remaining chicken and phyllo sheets.

Brush the packets with the rest of the melted butter and sprinkle with the cheese.   If freezing, cover tightly, and thaw completely before baking.

Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve hot.

*If you’ve never worked with phyllo before, the most important thing is to keep the sheets covered with a damp (not wet!) towel to keep them from drying out before you use them.   They can be cranky and tear, but it won’t affect the finished product, so don’t worry.

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