Baked Chicken + Fresh Vegetable Parcels

My siblings-in-law-to-be (try saying that five times fast) knew exactly what I wanted for my birthday this year—a subscription to Donna Hay’s cooking magazine. It’s a glorious thing, my friends. So many recipes and ideas and so little time to try them in. I can guarantee a few more Donna Hay-inspired recipes after this one!

I was inspired to try this chicken and vegetable dish for both its tastiness and simplicity for elegance. I was a bit wary of baking with baking paper packages until I saw our friend Kelli serve up an amazing halibut feast for us a few weekends back (Kelli’s got a special kitchen talent all her own, which you’ll be reading about soon in an upcoming Christmas surprise! Join the mailing list to find out more). The virtues of baking paper parcels should not go un-extolled; the meat comes out juicy and tender, the vegetables steamed and mouth-watering, and let’s not even get into the virtues of easy plating and clean-up!

Be sure to try this recipe for your next dinner party or special occasion. Yum!


Baked Chicken with Fresh Vegetables + Olive Sauce

Serves: 6
Cooking time: 30 minutes hands on, 25 minutes baking
Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients:

  • good quality baking paper
  • 6 chicken breasts, cut into 2-3 long fillets (marinate overnight or for minimum 1 hour in a few tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup white wine, and salt and pepper)
  • 8-10 baby (chat) potatoes, sliced thinly
  • 4 spring (green) onions, ends removed and sliced in half (or baby leeks)
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 6 small handfuls green beans or snow peas, ends removed (I’d recommend green beans next time, as they keep their colour better when cooked)
  • a few pinches lemon zest
  • salt and pepper
  • For the dressing:
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 tsp lemon zest
    • handful green olives, chopped finely
    • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil leaves
    • 1 tbsp white wine
    • pepper

Hint: These should be served straight from the oven. If entertaining, pre-assemble packages, or get someone to come gossip with you in the kitchen while you assemble, as it doesn’t take too long to do. Just be sure you have the ingredients prepared already.

Slice, chop, etc. all your vegetables. Once potatoes have been sliced, cover and microwave them for 4-6 minutes with 1/4 cup white wine or water until soft and almost cooked through.

Tear off 6 pieces of baking paper into long rectangles, at least about 45 cm / 17″ long. Divide vegetables between each one, creating little piles. Start with the potatoes on the bottom, then the green onions, green beans or snow peas, and a few slices of garlic. Sprinkle a pinch or so of lemon zest, and a dash of salt and pepper over vegetables. Lay chicken on top.

To seal baking paper packages, pull the long ends of the rectangle together over the ingredients and fold/scrunch the ends, rolling them together slightly so they stay together and form a loose top. Fold/scrunch each of the sides together so that the package is sealed. Place the finished packages on baking trays and bake in a 400 F / 200 C preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through (you’ll have to open a parcel to make sure of this—there should be no pink on the inside of the chicken and its juices should run clear).

Make your dressing while the parcels are baking—add all ingredients to a small glass jar with a good lid and shake vigorously. Spoon over opened parcels. Enjoy!

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