Chicken en Papillote with Zucchini and Tomatoes Served with Quinoa Pilaf

Before I get you salivating over this most deliciously healthy meal, I would like to take a moment of your time to apologize. No, not apologize, just explain myself. I have been absent from you for quite some time. While I wish I could say it was because I was on some grand adventure across seas, alas, it was because I got an all-grown-up-and-saving-China-big-girl-capital-J Job. It has left me with quite a small amount of free time, which I chose to spend with my family doing other things I love. And there you have it.

Now, for the salivating.

A family member gave me this incredible cookbook for Christmas, titled The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook, from America's Test Kitchen. It is brilliant and I highly recommend it. Anyhow, the cookbook contained this Chicken en Papillote with Zucchini and Tomatoes. Don't shun away from this recipe just because you don't know what 'en papillote' means (it means 'in parchment', in case you were wondering). This recipe is simple, easy to prepare, and the end result is the most moist and flavor-packed chicken you'll ever make. I typically serve my Chicken en Papillote dish with Quinoa Pilaf (also found in The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook) for a complete and healthy, protein-packed meal.



  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced 
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil 
  • *you will also need aluminum foil*
Yields: 2 servings

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place sliced tomatoes in a small bowl, and sliced zucchini in a separate small bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine oil, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.
  • Toss half of the oil mixture with the zucchini and the remaining oil mixture with the tomatoes.
  • Cut two 14 by 12-inch rectangles of aluminum foil and lay them flat on counter. Shingle (lay out) half of zucchini in center of each piece of foil.
  • Place one chicken breast on top of each pile of zucchini, then top chicken with tomatoes.
  • Tightly crimp foil into packets. Make sure to roll up the end of the tin foil so no moisture can leak out.
  • Set packets on rimmed baking sheet.
  • Bake until chicken registers 160 degrees, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Carefully open packets and use a spatula to gently transfer the chicken, vegetables, and any accumulated juices onto plates. 
  • Sprinkle with basil and serve.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme 
Yields: 2 servings

  • Heat oil in medium size saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering. Add onion and 1/4 tsp salt and cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add rinsed quinoa and cook, stirring often, until quinoa is lightly toasted and aromatic, about 5 minutes. 
  • In a separate pan, combine water and chicken bouillon over medium heat. Stir until bouillon is dissolved, about 5 minutes. 
  • Slowly stir chicken broth into quinoa mixture. Add thyme and bring to simmer. 
  • Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is translucent and tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove saucepan from heat. Gently fluff quinoa with a fork.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. 

While both of these recipes combined may seem like a lot of work, they are fairly simple and more than worth the effort. It typically takes me about 10 minutes to prepare the Chicken en Papillote with Zucchini and Tomatoes, and about 15 minutes to prepare the Quinoa Pilaf. Then it is a short 30 minutes until you are sitting down, enjoying one of the best chicken dishes you will ever make. Even my husband, who is a wizard in the kitchen, told me it was the best chicken he has ever had. 

Good luck and enjoy,


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