Cooking in parchment is an easy, low-fat and fun way to do dinner.
- 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ⅓ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp red-pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- 3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- Heat oven to 400ºF. Place each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to an even ½-thickness. Prepare four 20-by-30-inch pieces of parchment: fold in half and cut into a half-heart shape. Unfold and place chicken on one side of each paper.
- In a bowl combine parsley, garlic, zest, salt and red-pepper flakes. Divide mixture among chicken breasts, covering the surface of each piece. Sprinkle with raisins and nuts.
- Fold parchment over chicken breasts and pleat in 1-inch increments, folding edges over tightly to seal packet. Fold the last pleat underneath the packet. Place packets on a baking sheet; bake until packets are puffed and chicken is cooked through, 15 min.
- Carefully transfer packets to plates, cut the paper across the top and tear to open.
If you’re French you call this cooking technique “en papillote.” I am not French, so we’re calling it Chicken In Paper. (But feel free to throw that French term around if you want to impress folks with your foodie genius.)
En Papillote means to cook something in paper…parchment paper in this instance. Your prepped food, lean meats, vegetables, seasonings, etcetera go into a sealed packet and essentially get steamed in the oven. Usually it takes about 15 minutes (remember, steam is super hot–this stuff cooks fast!), and your results are locked in flavor, moisture and a really cool presentation.
For even faster cooking, give your chicken a few taps with the rolling pin or meat mallet to flatten.
For cute parchment packets, fold 20-by-30-inch pieces in half and cut into half-heart shapes. Unfold and fill.
Fold tightly around the open edge to seal, tucking the final pleat under.