There is more to Foil Fowl than will first be apparent. To start, it is a simple, easy way to bake a chicken breast and have it moist. And while it is designed for the person cooking as one, the ideas and concepts easily expand to cooking for a family.
The concept is that you make a sealed package of ingredients, bake it, and when it is done, you open the package and serve the cooked ingredients. It is a very simple matter to make multiple packages if you are cooking for more than yourself. And, if there are quite a few people eating, you can make the whole recipe in a covered casserole dish and then divide it up at the table.
- chicken breast meat (raw, skinned and boned)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh mushroom slices (optional)
- 2 Tablespoon finely minced onion (or dried onion flakes)
- 1 Tablespoon finely minced celery
- 1 Tablespoon finely minced carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon butter dotted on top
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare one foil piece for each serving (12″ x 18″ heavy duty foil).
Place a chicken breast in middle of foil. Splash each breast with lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Place vegetables on top. Finally, dot the top with butter.
(To reduce calories, we use spray butter; in that case, butter goes on the breast just after the lemon juice).
Fold the opposite ends of the foil over the food so that the ends meet. Turn up the edges, forming a 1/2″ fold. Double fold and press the edges together tightly to seal, allowing some space for heat circulation and expansion. Seal each end, using the same technique. Place the foil packets on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
While chicken is cooking, prepare noodles (about 3 oz. per serving) or rice.
Remove chicken packets from oven; cut an X in top of each packet. Fold the foil back. Place a chicken piece over each serving of noodles/rice and spoon the accumulated juices and vegetables over the top.
A variation on this is to cook all the chicken breasts in a covered baking dish; use foil as a cover if the dish doesn’t have a tight fitting cover.
Bake for about 1 hour.
The recipe uses a mirepoix; that is the French term for a combination of the basic aromatic vegetables – onion, celery and carrot- usually in the ratio of 2:1:1. You could as easily use the Italian version which is a soffritto consisting of onion, garlic and celery, or even the Cajon / Creole “holy trinity” which is onion, celery and bell pepper.
The mirepoix is just the starting point of flavoring the meat. The recipe adds mushrooms, and you could add wine, or any other flavor you would like. One of the good reasons for using the individual packages is that Marlys loved mushrooms, and I have a problem digesting them. So I avoid mushrooms. With the individual packages Marlys could add the mushrooms to her package and omit them from mine. I tend to add extra carrots to replace the mushrooms – what we call Errol’s orange mushrooms.
Generally, I figure that a chicken breast is about 8 ounces; I like to use about 4 ounces of meat in a serving so we would normally cut the chicken breast into two pieces, giving us each a 4 ounce serving.
And while the packages are cooking, there is plenty of time to make a side dish of rice or pasta. I prepared 3 ounces of farfalle – bow tie noodles and then put the content of the foil fowl package right on top of the pasta. I always have a problem with deciding how much rice to make; I know the expansion factor is about 3- 1 cup of raw rice makes 3 cups of cooked rice. I probably need to cook a couple tablespoons of raw rice in about 1/3 cup of water. I guess an easier solution is what my sister does, which is to make a lot of rice, and freeze it then take out however much you desire.