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Chicken En Papillote – Surprisingly good chicken!

Posted on July 27, 2010 by in Chicken

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Chicken En Papillote

Chicken En Papillote literally means to cook “in parchment”. It is a French term for something that the Italians call al Cartoccio. Cooking en papillote is a method in which you seal the food in a pouch and bake. The food essentially steams in the oven in its own juices. Even in Indonesia they use a similar cooking method, but the food is wrapped in banana or cassava leaves  not parchment paper.
This cooking method is very easy and is a low fat method of cooking and the best part is that it is so easy to clean up. This method is perfect for cooking chicken, fish, vegetables and even fruits.
Cooking en papillote has another added benefit and that is the element of surprise and excitement it brings to the table.Once the meal is cooked, each guest has his or her own , surprise packet to open at the table. I have yet to see a unhappy face as guests open their packets to watch the aromatic steam escapes.
I have used this  method before on a whole chicken and the result was extraordinary. This time however, I wanted to use whole chicken breasts and with chicken breasts there is always the fear of over cooking it, resulting in dry tasteless meat. Cooking “en papillote” is therefore ideal because the meat cooks in the steam created by the liquid that you’ve added, in this case white wine.

I have created two recipes, using the same ingredients. The one being Chicken En Papillote with Potatoes, capers and olives. The other being Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, capers and olives. You chose the method that suites your needs.

Chicken En Papillote

Chicken En Papillote


4 organic chicken breasts – skin and bone on
1 medium potato per person
fresh or dry thyme
8 tbsp white wine
a selection of pitted olives – use green, black, dried and even tapenade.
caper berries
salt/pepper to taste
olive oil

Slice the potatoes thinly with skin on. Keep in a bowl of water to keep the potatoes from going brown. Once you have cut out your paper pouch, lay the potatoes in a single layer at the bottom. Season well. Lay a chicken breast on top of the potatoes and season with salt/pepper and thyme. Drizzle with some olive oil and close the pouch, leaving a small opening  in the one corner. Pour the wine through this opening.
Close the pouch properly and place on a baking try. Bake for about 30 minutes. The meat should be soft and succulent. Serve with black and green olives and some tapenade.
For a video on how to fold the paper, click here!

Chicken En Papillote

Roast chicken with potatoes and olives

For the other method, simply lay the potatoes in a single layer at the bottom of a baking dish. Place the chicken breast on top and season  with salt/pepper and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil and wine and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes. Serve with chopped olives and some tapenade.

You might also like these chicken recipes:

En Papillote

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13 Responses to “Chicken En Papillote – Surprisingly good chicken!”

  1. bellini valli 28 July 2010 at 3:08 am #

    Baking in paper is the perfect way to have the chicken cook in it's own juices.

  2. Mary 28 July 2010 at 6:15 pm #

    Nina, this is an especially lovely recipe. En papillote is a great way to cook food. I hope the day treats you well. Blessings…Mary

  3. Pam 28 July 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    Healthy and delicious – what a fantastic recipe Nina.

  4. Marisa 29 July 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    Have to say the tanned, roasted chicken wins the contest on looks alone, but there's something magical about opening up a little parcel of food just for you, isn't there?

  5. mycookinghut 29 July 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Definitely a good way to eat chicken.. I can imagine the moist of the meat… oh yum!

  6. browniegirl 29 July 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    There is something about a beautifully crispy golden brown chicken breast that calls out my name but I do also thoroughly enjoy the en papillote meal as well. Both winners in my book. Thanx for sharing Nins. Your photies are absolutely gorgeous. Well done. Now its bed time. I hope to do your Thai event tomorrow. Havent had a chance yet…love you xx

  7. Alisa 30 July 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Everything looks perfect.First time to come here and you sure have a wonderful site.If you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  8. Jan 1 August 2010 at 9:32 am #

    Love the idea of olives and potatoes – that chicken does look GOOD!

  9. Helene 1 August 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    What a great way to cook the chicken. I can smell it.

  10. Peter M 2 August 2010 at 4:50 am #

    Gorgeous dish, love briny olives and do you also have capers in there?

  11. Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen 2 August 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    I love the flavors you have going on here, Nina! Usually I find En papillote dishes to be kind of boring, but not the way you prepared it! Yummy!

  12. Kevin 5 August 2010 at 2:53 am #

    What a tasty looking one pot (or I guess no pot in this case :)) meal! I have been wanting to try parchment style cooking.

  13. Rosemary Gough 24 March 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    Another winner and sure addition to my menu. When will I get the time to eat all this food???? You killing me, you really killing me.

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