Tasty Food in Foil #3 . . . Foiled Chicken
Today’s foil is filled with chicken and we’re following the same principles as before: fat, meat, seasoning, veggie, liquid.
I’ve found it easier if I know what a particular measured amount looks like. This saves me time and cleanup. I know what a teaspoon of salt poured in the palm of my hand looks like. How big a 2-3 tablespoon puddle of EVOO is in my pan. An approximation. The exact measurements are important in some dishes, but not so much in others. This isn’t a souffle or pastry.
What you’ll find here are recipes I’ve used, but they are not tutorials. They are simply recipes I and my family have enjoyed. Feel free to adjust as you prefer. The amounts for these foil dishes are what would be appropriate for one serving, as each foil pouch serves one adult or two kids.
Barefoot’s Foiled Chicken
Heat oven to 425o.
Lay out a large piece of foil on a flat surface. You must be able to fold it up over your food and seal after you pile everything in the center.
FAT: Pam or EVOO & Butter
Spray lightly with Pam or EVOO. Place a bay leaf in center of foil (remove before serving). Sprinkle with a little salt & pepper.
There will be butter later on.
Center a flattened boneless chicken breast or thigh on top of bay leaf. (Just place chicken in a baggy and flatten with a rolling pin or mallet until uniform in thickness, about 1/2″ thick. This makes it cook more evenly.)
In all honesty here, I must confess how I’ve also done the chicken.
On my foil, I placed a frozen chicken breast, added a pat of butter
and a bay leaf on top, then . . . finished with the following seasoning
and vegetables. Baked it at 325o (since it was frozen, I lowered the
temp and increased the cooking time) about an hour. It worked.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, & paprika. And anything else your little heart desires. Sage, tarragon, rosemary, red pepper flakes, herbs de provence, Italian seasoning, Cavender’s Greek seasoning, Badia’s Complete Seasoning. Anything you have on hand and you enjoy. Just pick one or two that are compatible. All of the above would be too much.
VEGGIES: Carrots, onions, etc.
Place on top any combination of the following:
- frozen, chopped spinach — Sprinkle on top of chicken breast before other veggies. It cooks up dark & wilty, not overly attractive, but adds good nutrition and will be covered up with any of the following:
- 1/4 cup root-y vegetables chopped in 2″ chunks. Think carrots, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, etc.
- 7-8 green beans (I used either fresh or frozen. Canned beans are icky, to me.)
- 2 TB each–diced red and green bell peppers, celery, onion, fennel bulb, mushrooms: whatever you like, leave it out or add them all. Keep final amount about 3/4 cup total.
- 1 minced garlic clove
2 TB real butter on top of everything
LIQUID: Wine or stock
This can be tricky because you’re not working in a bowl. I’ll add a little white wine or chicken stock after I’ve crimped up the sides. 2-3 tablespoons.
I often make my own chicken stock and freeze it in ice cube trays. If you do, too, just pop a frozen cube on top.
Now, close it up. Fold up the long ends and roll to seal. Press down and roll sides toward ingredients to seal. You should have a nice little packet.
Place on cookie sheet and bake 25-30 minutes.
That’s all there is to it. It takes about 15 minutes to get everything from the frig and into the over. Another half hour or so to bake.
The idea is to use whatever you have on hand. I usually have chicken, green beans, spinach, and garlic in the freezer; carrots, onions, mushrooms, and celery in the frig. Brussels sprouts would work. Yukon gold or red new potatoes would, too. Just think about what you have and consider the cooking time.
Delicate vegetables like English peas or snow peas would be delicious, but cook too fast. Add them about 5 minutes before it’s finished cooking. Or you could saute them in a separate pan, but my goal was a one pot main dish, with no clean up.
Serve over rice or with pasta or a potato. Or nothing else. It’s a complete meal as it is. Which is perfect after a busy day. Pop this in the oven and go take a bath. Eat it while piled up on the sofa with a glass of chardonnay and watch TV.
There are others I will share in the future. All in foil. All deliciously easy with little clean up.
Until next time. Be sweet!
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