Chicken Baked in Foil with Potatoes and Carrots
A quick-cooked meal of chicken and vegetables sounded great. Unfortunately, our first attempts were not much better than an old-style TV dinner.
Why This Recipe Works
Food baked in foil packets or en papillote has been lauded for both healthfulness and ease, but our first attempts turned out overcooked chicken, mushy vegetables, and overall blandness. We chose quick-cooking boneless chicken breasts, and to ensure that they’re seasoned throughout, we sprinkle them all over with salt before assembling the packets and then refrigerate them for at least an hour before cooking. Leaving headroom at the top of the packet allows maximum steam circulation for even cooking, and checking the temperature of the chicken through the foil lets us monitor its progress. Finally, layering the heartier potatoes under the chicken insulates it from the hot pan. Some assertive seasonings and a few splashes of extra-virgin olive oil and no one would mistake this for diet food.