18 July 2011

Chicken with Zucchini and Tomatoes en Papillote

"En papillote" (french for "in parchment") is a method of cooking in which the food is wrapped in parchment paper (or, today, often in aluminum foil) and then baked. Steaming en papillote both concentrates flavor and ensures that no nutrients are lost. I like it because it's super healthy, way easier than it looks and the food always, always turns out perfectly. Great for guests, who will doubtless be impressed. This recipe is adapted from Cooks Illustrated (haddock en papillote), which reminds me - this works wonderfully for both chicken and any kind of meaty white fish.

2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp minced fresh oregano leaves (optional)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
2 medium tomatoes, cored and diced
1 zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about .8 - 1 lb total)
1 tsp chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Combine oil, garlic, oregano, pepper, salt and pepper, then divide mixture into two bowls
In one, add zucchini / in other, add tomato, and toss to coat
Cut 2, 12 inch squares of aluminum foil
In the center, layer zucchini in a line
Season chicken with salt and pepper, then place on top of zucchini
Add tomato mixture on top of chicken

Bring edges of foil up and around chicken
Fold edges over at least twice, to make sure package is tightly sealed
Bake on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes
Carefully open, allowing steam to escape away from you
When cool enough to touch, slide chicken and vegetables from foil onto plate

Before serving, sprinkle with basil

Serves 2

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