Chicken En Papillote With Basil and Cherry Tomatoes

Foodista Cookbook Entry

Category: Main Dishes | Blog URL:

This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.


1 boneless chicken breast (with or without skin)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 tablespoons white wine
4 to 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 leaves basil, chiffonade
Garnish: fresh basil chiffonade


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Salt and pepper chicken and place on parchment sheet. Drizzle with olive oil.
Add onion, garlic, white wine, cherry tomatoes and basil. Wrap parchment tightly around contents and secure into a package with kitchen twine. Place on cookie sheet.
Place in oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until thermometer inserted into chicken reads 165 degrees. Unwrap package and serve hot, with a garnish of fresh basil chiffonade.



I know we’re truly in the thick of winter when I bust out the papillote recipes left and right. The season and the dish remind me of each other: both bursting with warmth and comfort on the inside, like what I would imagine a family home with central heating and a fireplace would feel like. Since my apartment doesn’t have either of those, I cook en papillote to give me that same feeling of perceived warmth, and for the most part, it’s achieved, albeit on a much smaller scale. My toes are still frozen and I’m a blanket mummy, but my stomach is a happy camper, as warm as can be.

Papillote is a one-shot dish in which you place raw ingredients on a sheet of parchment paper, wrap them up like a parcel and cook the whole thing in the oven. The parchment essentially steams everything into a vibrantly flavored meal, trapping in all the aromas and juices that would have otherwise escaped in baking or sauteeing.

And perhaps what I love most about the cooking method is that it’s almost wrong how good the dish is, considering that it doesn’t adhere to the age-old notion of “the tougher the job, the greater the reward.” It’s quite the opposite — the result is exponentially greater than the minimal effort going into it. Conclusion? George Allen has probably never had the pleasure of cooking en papillote.

Cook’s note: In both recipes, the chicken can be substituted for any white fish, like halibut or tilapia. If using fish, note that it will be done at 140 to 145 degrees. I recommend testing with a thermometer to be sure.


1 serving


Sunday, February 21, 2010 - 10:59am


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