The culinary art of steaming foods in parchment paper, en papillote in French parlance, is the ideal cooking method when preparing meals for one. Just toss your ingredients in the packet and revel in the ultra-juicy meat and perfectly tender vegetables. For a ta-da presentation you can enjoy all to yourself, serve this at the table still wrapped in the parchment paper. Consider serving with a side of quinoa or freekeh.
To prepare parchment paper packets:
- Cut your paper into a 15 x 18 in (38 x 46 cm) long piece.
- Fold in half crosswise so that a crease runs down the middle.
- Create a paper heart by drawing a half heart with the centre of the heart on the crease, then cut out the shape.
- Open the heart and layer ingredients on half of the sheet, close to the centre fold. Don’t forget to leave at least a 1 in (2.5 cm) border around the edges to allow for folding.
- Starting at the top of the heart, fold edges of parchment together, sealing edges with tight 1/4 in (0.6 cm) folds.
- Twist end tip of packet to secure ingredients, and tuck it underneath.
1/2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced red onion
1 small red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4 in (0.6 cm) rounds
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil
1 tsp (5 mL) zaíatar seasoning, divided (alternatively, Italian seasoning)
4 to 6 oz (112 to 170 g) boneless, skinless chicken thigh (alternatively, chicken breast)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
Toss onion, bell pepper, zucchini, garlic, oil, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) za’atar and a couple pinches of salt. Place vegetable mixture on parchment paper and top with chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper and then top with lemon slices and remaining za’atar. Fold parchment paper over contents and seal shut.
Cook on rimmed baking sheet for 25 minutes and let rest for 5 minutes before opening.