If you missed our blog about cooking with parchment paper, or as the French say en papillote, you can find it here, but this step by step recipe for savory boneless skinless chicken packets will guide you through from start to finish.
The entire family will love the combination of delicious chicken protein, fresh, juicy vegetables, and of course the zesty lemon and garlic marinade provides the perfect puckery punch!
The best part is that even if you have picky eaters waiting at the table...
PARCHMENT PAPER PACKETS CAN BE CUSTOMIZED!
What moms and dads love most about cooking en papillote is throwing together different proteins, veggies, sauces, and seasonings in a simple, non-stick, non-toxic, oven safe parchment paper package.
After 10-20 minutes (for most meals) in the oven, everyone at the table gets their own packet stuffed with their favorite meat and veggies that can be served over self-steamed veggies or white rice.
These parchment paper packets are so easy to prepare, and everybody gets exactly what they want!
CAN YOU MAKE CHICKEN ALUMINUM FOIL PACKETS?
The allure of using aluminum foil instead of parchment paper is understandable. We have been using it to cook with for years, but why?
Yes it is easier to crimp and seal the edges using foil, and yes metal does transfer heat more efficiently than parchment paper, but recent studies showing a possible health risk of cooking food in direct contact with foil is enough to convince us to leave it in the drawer for recipes like this.
Of course, you really do not want to use wax paper for these packets because it isn’t heat-safe and that wax will melt in the oven and ruin your meal.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN THE PARCHMENT PACKET IS READY?
If this is your first time cooking in parchment packets, your best bet for determining when they are done cooking and ready to eat is by using a trusty meat thermometer.
Chicken thighs are relatively easy to cook and they are ready to remove from the oven when the internal temperature in the meatiest part reaches 165°F.
Chicken breasts, on the other hand, have a finished cooking temperature of about 150°F. Start checking the temp around the 15 minute mark for optimal results.
If you do not have a meat thermometer the only thing you can do is sacrifice one packet by allowing it to go until the 18 minute mark and then opening it and cutting into the chicken to see how thoroughly it is cooked. The good news is, it is pretty hard to overcook your boneless skinless chicken using this method, so if you do not have the thermometer, let it all cook a while before disturbing a packet.
LEMON GARLIC CHICKEN PARCHMENT PAPER PACKETS (Serves 4)
This is a WHOLE30, KETO, & PALEO friendly recipe!
- ⅓ cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons of dried oregano
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 4 (6oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts
- 4 summer squash, thinly sliced into medallions
- 1 shallot, sliced thin
- 8 olives, pitted and halved
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- With the rack in the middle, pre-heat your oven to 450°F
- Combine your EVOO, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried oregano, 1 tsp of kosher salt, and ¼ tsp of freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the boneless, skinless chicken to the mixture and marinate for at least 10 minutes and up to 2 hours but don’t let it sit in there for too long because the acidic marinade will mess with the texture of the meat eventually.
- Grab 4 large sheets of American made non-stick, non-toxic, oven-safe parchment paper, and fold each piece in half. Draw half a heart on each piece of paper so that when you cut them out, you get full hearts - just like back in elementary school!
- Open up the parchment paper "hearts" and lay them flat. Position ¼ of your chosen veggies - in this case the summer squash - on one side of the crease in each heart, leaving the other side empty/clear. Layer some shallot slices on top, and generously sprinkle it all with salt and pepper.
- Place a boneless skinless chicken thigh or breast on top of the vegetables and spoon 2 tsp of marinade back onto the chicken.
- Top it all with ¼ of the olives and cherry tomatoes that you have already prepared.
- Repeat with all 3 packets, adding or omitting ingredients to please those picky eaters!
Now, simply fold the empty half of each parchment paper heart on top of the chicken/food side and tightly crimp the edges together, starting at the top of the heart, near the crease.
Ensure that each parchment paper packet is sealed up tight by turning and firmly crimping the edges. At the pointed bottom end of the packets, twist the paper tightly for the final seal.
Place your parchment paper packets in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, with at least some space in between each one.
Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken thighs show an internal cooking temperature of 165°F on your thermometer.
That is one major benefit of using a meat thermometer is that you can just stab the packet with a meat thermometer without opening it completely and letting the savory steam escape too soon!
Use a pair of scissors to cut open the parchment paper packets as soon as they’re done cooking or let your diners do it themselves at the table. Just be careful, the escaping steam can be hot!
The truth is, you really do not need to stick to any recipe when putting together your packets. Instead, forage in your fridge and pantry, and use whatever’s available and sounds good and toss it in some high-quality, American-made parchment paper like you'll find here at ParchmentPaper.com!