Here is a recipe everyone will love that you can have on the table in under 45 minutes with very little clean up. The chicken and veggies are cooked in a parchment bag which holds all the juices, steams everything to perfection, and creates a beautiful presentation. With this simple method, you can say goodbye to dry, tasteless chicken.
Cooking in parchment has been popular in Europe for decades. The French call it cooking “en papillote,” the Italians “al cartoccio.” The technique yields a tender, juicy meal with little fat or oil unless you want the flavor.
For this recipe, I chose a bed of broccoli heads with plump tomatoes, a smashed garlic clove, and several sage leaves. Broccoli tastes amazing when steamed and tomatoes add moisture as well as flavor to the dish. The garlic has anti-inflammatory properties and sage can improve the mind and your memory. By 6 o’clock, I think we all need a brain boost or a glass of wine or both.
To bake a chicken everyone will go on and on about for days, you should brine it for 5 or 6 hours. I make a huge batch of brine, pour the lemony, herb brine in mason jars, freeze it, and then I pull a jar out to thaw in the frig the day before I cook chicken or pork. It is worth the effort.
You can skip the brining if you do not have the time. Everyone will still love this recipe especially with the fresh Back to Organic Rosemary French grey salt and butter rubbed on the breasts. Brining and seasoning the meat with a herb salt rub will prepare you for the Thanksgiving turkey.
Some of you may try aluminum instead of parchment but use parchment when steaming foods with a salt rub to avoid discoloration and off odors caused by a chemical reaction with the aluminum. Plus, parchment looks more gourmet. Serve individual portions or family style In a larger bag. Place the bag on a plate or platter, cut an X on top, open it to release the fragrant steam and serve right out of the parchment.
1) Make the brine (optional but recommended)- Make the chicken brine following these directions and allow it to cool. Place in an ice bath to cool down quickly if needed. Cover the bone in skin on chicken breasts with the brine and place in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 hours. Freeze the left over brine in mason jars.
2) Rosemary Salt and Butter Rub- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place 2 tablespoons of butter in a oven safe dish and melt in the oven. Remove and add 1 teaspoon of Rosemary French Grey salt and mix.
3) Prep- Cut the florets off the head of broccoli. You will not use the stems for this recipe since they can be tough and need to cook longer. Place the broccoli florets in a parchment bag or on a piece of parchment paper. Add 4 small to medium tomatoes to the brocoli. Smash one garlic clove with the side of your knife and remove the skin. Place the garlic clove in the veggies. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil on top.
4) Stuff the Parchment bag-Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse. Loosen the skin from the meat and rub the Rosemary butter over the meat. Gently put the skin back over the meat. Place the chicken over the veggies and seal the parchment bag or paper. Make sure it is sealed to trap the steam. Here are instructions to create the packet if you use parchment paper.
5) Cook- Cook for 30 minutes in the oven at 425 degrees. When you smell the broccoli, check the temperature of the chicken. You can poke a hole in the bag with the thermometer and insert it in the breast. The internal temperature should be 160 degrees. Do not open the bag for 5 minutes to allow the chicken to rest.
6) Serve- Cut an X on top of the bag with a knife. Serve in the bag or plate. Make sure you spoon the juices over the meat and veggies. Serve warm.