Monday, February 20, 2012

Chicken in Paper Packets

Here's a main dish that's fun because it's served in a paper or foil packet. If you like fun names, use French, and call this "poulet en papier." Serving a dish that's cooked in a slightly different manner might make it more interesting for the diner, and you might be able to slip in some healthy ingredients that you wouldn't ordinarily get away with. For instance, I'm able to add celery to this vegetable melange with no quarrels at the table! In addition to it's ability to disguise veggies, this is also a timely recipe. Lemons are prolific this year, and that means they're showing up in many meals. Serve this with a simple salad or a dark green vegetable for a complete meal.


2 chicken breasts, halved
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
4 slices lemon
several grinds of sea salt
several grinds of pepper
4 tsp blue cheese or Parmesan cheese
parchment paper or foil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut four 12 inch diameter circles out of parchment paper or foil and lay them on baking sheets. Mix the vegetables together and mound 1/4 of them onto each circle. Halve the chicken breasts lengthwise, like you're butterflying them, and top each vegetable mound with a chicken breast. Top the chicken breasts with thyme leaves, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a slice of lemon. Add a grind of sea salt and a grind of pepper. Fold the circle in half, then crimp the edges to seal. Cook the packets in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven. Serve, either by placing one packet on each plate, or by opening each packet and sliding the contents onto the plate. Top each chicken breast with 1 tsp of cheese.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: This dish uses lemon as more than a seasoning, you'll notice there's no oil or butter in this recipe. Lemon juice provides the catalyst for the juices that steam cook the chicken. If you don't like blue cheese or Parmesan, increase the seasoning by adding a little more salt or add a pinch of red pepper flakes.

No comments: