Chicken Baked in Foil by Rattaya Nagorski

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Food sealed in packages just sound so wondrous. Even though you were the one who prepared the food, you were the one who put them in the oven, yet, you'd still be so excited to see how it turned out when opening up these chicken foil packages. It was almost like opening a present!

I've only made food covered with foil when I roasted ribs in the oven, so it was exciting to find this recipe from America's Test Kitchen. I've cooked chicken, plus veggies and spices in a package form before, often in parchment paper, so this was the first time to put them in foil.

Chicken Baked in Foil was easy, healthy, and Whole 30-friendly. Also, it was a full meal all in one, with a protein, veggie, and starch. I skipped the main step, however, which was infusing some flavors in oil and microwaving it. I went ahead and just layered everything, then drizzled the olive oil and the spices. I added more spices, such as a steak grill blend, and I used minced garlic instead. Surely it would have turned out better if I'd followed the instructions, but this way came out fine, too.

On a side note: you have to put the chicken package in the fridge for an hour, so make sure to save time for that.

GATHER:

  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 12oz yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, sliced 1/4 thick
  • 2 carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick, layers separated
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 (6oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh chives

MAKE:

  1. Spray centers of four 20 by 12-inch sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil with vegetable oil spray. Microwave oil, garlic, thyme, and pepper flakes in small bowl until garlic begins to brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Combine potato slices, carrots, onion, 1 tsp salt, and garlic oil in a large bowl.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp salt even over each side of each chicken breast, then season with pepper. Position 1 piece of prepared foil with long side parallel to counter edge. In center of foil, arrange one-quarter of potato slices in 2 rows perpendicular to counter edge. Lay 1 chicken breast on top of potato slices. Place one-quarter of vegetables around chicken. Repeat with remaining foil, potato slices, chicken, and vegetables. Drizzle any remaining oil mixture from bowl over chicken.
  3. Bring short sides of foil together and crimp to seal tightly. Crimp remaining open ends of packets, leaving as much headroom as possible inside packets. Place packets on large plate and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  4. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 475. Arrange packets on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until chicken registers 160 degrees, 18 to 23 minutes. Let chicken rest in packets for 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer chicken packets to individual dinner plates, open carefully (steam will escape), and slide contents onto plates. Drizzle lemon juice over chicken and vegetables and sprinkle with chives. Serve. Yields 4 servings.
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