Jay Rodriguez again underlined his value to the Clarets as his superb double strike sent Burnley heading back towards the top six with an eighth away win of the season.
Burnley's prized asset might have been coveted by others during the January transfer window but Eddie Howe's determination to keep him at Turf Moor was further repaid by Rodriguez's 15th and 16th goals of another golden season.
But for a freak slip when taking a second-half penalty he would have left the City Ground with the match ball and even more headlines.
As it was a headed goal in each half from the former England under-21 international was enough to secure only a second win in 17 attempts on the banks of the Trent and heap further anguish on former Burnley boss Steve Cotterill.
Cotterill's Forest side was subjected to its sixth successive home defeat without a goal as the Clarets, again inspired by former Cotterill signing Michael Duff, kept a sixth clean sheet in seven games to offer no end to the gloom.
And while Forest struggle to escape the bottom three, Burnley's sights remain firmly on the opposite end of the table as a top-drawer second-half performance secured an eighth win in 11 League games.
Following all the speculation surrounding Rodriguez it was perhaps inevitable that he would score and it took the leading scorer less than three minutes to make his mark.
Having scored his first League goals of the season against Forest at the end of September, Rodriguez punished the Reds again when he met Kieran Trippier's superb deep cross with a header which he steered perfectly into the top corner from six yards out.
With such a dismal home record it was exactly the start Forest didn't want.
But to their credit, the strugglers gave a spirited response and could well have equalised in a frantic opening burst.
Ishmael Miller, who scored the consolation goal in Forest's 5-1 beating at Turf Moor, pounced on a mistake by Ben Mee and might have found the target but for a crucial touch from covering defender David Edgar.
Lee Grant was then forced to tip away a potentially goal-bound cross from Paul Anderson and cling onto a drive from new loan signing Adlene Guedioura.
But when Guy Moussi tamely headed wide a corner with 16 minutes gone, it became clearer why Forest had failed to find the net at home since November.
Amid the flurry of early activity Josh McQuoid had a chance to mark his first Burnley start with a goal but dragged his effort wide on the break when a second goal might have broken Forest's brittle confidence.
Even still, the home supporters betrayed their growing edginess as the Clarets - forced into a change with Ross Wallace sent on in place of the injured Keith Treacy - enjoyed more of the fragmented possession ahead of half time.
And Wallace was an instrumental figure in an upbeat start to the second half from the Clarets as they went for the kill in front of a superb turn-out of 2,000 travelling supporters.
A free-kick curled in towards the near post from the Scot required only a touch to take it past Lee Camp and Wallace then put another set-piece effort even closer after Trippier had been tripped by Guedioura 25 yards from goal.
Charlie Austin was the next to go close as he fired across the face of goal with Rodriguez just unable to get a touch and the growing pressure should have brought a second goal with 56 minutes gone.
No mistake this time as Jay-Rod banks the points
Mee's burst into the box was ended by a trip from Garath McCleary but as Rodriguez took the spot-kick he slipped and barely made contact in slicing the ball horribly wide.
Cotterill responded with a double change as he sent on Marcus Tuday and Dexter Blackstock to try and conjur up a goal.
But instead it was the Clarets who struck again through that man Rodriguez.
Again Trippier was the provider - after linking well with the impressive Wallace - with another teasing cross. But this time Rodriguez had much more to do from 12 yards as he leapt and found the power and accuracy to locate the top corner with a magnificent header.
Forest did muster something of a response with Edgar superbly blocking an effort from Tudgay and Anderson shooting just over.
But Burnley substitute Marvin Bartley went even closer to a further goal as he shot just wide at the end of a typical driving run as Forest found no way of stopping him or the rampant Clarets.
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Mee, Edgar, Duff, Marney, McCann, McQuoid (Bartley 74), Rodriguez, Austin (Hines 90), Treacy (Wallace 29). Subs: Easton, Jensen.
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Moloney (Reid 81), Lynch, Lascelles, Gunter, Moussi, McGugan (Blackstock 60), Anderson, McCleary, Guedioura, Miller (Tudgay 60). Subs: Reid, Harewood, Smith.
Referee: M Naylor
Attendance: 23,147 (Burnley 2,004)