January 5, 2011

Chicken & Vegetables in Foil Packets

shiny vegetables and garlicky raw chicken! yay!

This is one of my favorite recipes to make, mainly because it's easy and healthy, but also because anyone I have ever made it for has absolutely loved it. The chicken is incredibly tender and moist, the vegetables are tasty and well-steamed, and the whole thing takes less than an hour. It's a perfect weeknight dinner.

I made it just a few days ago when I was still in Baltimore, so the recipe below is designed to serve four people (one packet per person). The great thing about cooking chicken and vegetables in foil packets, however, is that it is easily customizable to the number of people you want to feed.  I've made this with all sorts of different vegetable combinations (you don't have to limit yourself to the vegetables I've used) and it would also be delicious made on the grill in the summer. I served this with quinoa on the side, but you could easily use rice or couscous, too. The food tends to be really juicy when it comes out of the packet, so having something on the side to catch all the flavor enhances the dinner as a whole, I think.

I really approximated the amounts I used in this recipe, so if you're the kind of person who wants exact measurements, this may not be the one for you. I find that this recipe lends itself to a bit of experimentation, so try different amounts of seasoning, oil, or flavor and see what works.  When I've made chicken in foil packets in the past, I've marinated the chicken in about 3/4 of a cup of Italian salad dressing, which also works well.

Chicken & Vegetables in Foil Packets
total time: 1 hourish but can be more, depending on how long you want to marinate the chicken
total hands on time: 10ish minutes

4 chicken breasts
4 large (about 2 feet long) pieces of aluminum foil
1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes
3 shallots or 1 onion, sliced
2-3 small red potatoes, diced
2 cups of snap peas
1 leek, sliced
1 lemon, quartered
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
seasoning mix
salt and pepper to taste

For marinade:
olive oil
seasoning mix
lemon juice

1. Marinate chicken for at least one hour in your chosen marinade. For this recipe, I rubbed the four chicken breasts in salt, pepper and garlic, then marinated them in olive oil mixed with rosemary seasoning and a splash of lemon juice. The marinade shouldn't completely cover the chicken, but you can flip the pieces from time to time so everything gets flavored.

2. Preheat oven to 450.

3. Prepare vegetables by slicing, dicing, and chopping. Combine in one bowl, add a few glugs of olive oil, and a few tsps of balsamic vinegar. Mix to coat. Add in salt, pepper, and the seasoning mix of your choice; mix and make sure all of the vegetables are well-coated and well-seasoned.

4. Place one chicken breast in each length of foil. Cover chicken with 1/4 of vegetable mixture, letting the vegetable mixture spill out onto the foil. Squeeze one quarter of lemon on top of chicken and vegetables, then place on top to bake inside the packet.

5. Fold the packet over itself (as seen). You should have a large square with the food in the middle, but with plenty of room on all sides. Fold the edges of each packet carefully to create a tight seal on each edge.

6. Place packets in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Be careful when taking out of the oven. To open to packet, simply cut a slit with a knife or take apart one of the sealed edges.

7. Pour contents of packet onto a plate (take out the lemon, of course) and eat!


  1. looks so good! im gonna make next week maybe

  2. i can attest to the greatness of this meal! so many flavors in one dish, and it made me feel healthy-full. perfect dinner!

  3. I made this tonight and absolutely loved the vegetables and potatoes. (I"m sure the chicken was very good too, but I"ve got this fetish about chicken not being cooked enough, though my family said it was fine). Husband said it was good, my fifteen year old daughter, well, she doesn't seem to like anything I make these days. But trust me, this had tons of flavor and was really good.

    For the seasoning mix, I used McCormick Perfect Pinch Lemon Herb Seasoning. I never purchased a seasoning mix before so, I wasn't sure how it would turn out. I made 6 chicken breasts, this way I would have leftovers as I snack on a lot of vegetables, so I added extra ingredients. I used, I would say, between 1/3 - 1/2 of the bottle of seasoning, and again, that was 6 chicken breasts and a little extra of the vegetables.

    I served Couscous on the side, to which I mixed in chopped scallions, a little olive oil and fresh lime juice, though, the Couscous didn't really need it, because as the recipe states here, the chicken and veggie packets did produce a lot of juice. The packets on the upper shelf in the oven produced tons of juice, the ones on the lower shelf, not so much.

    I will be making this again.

    Thank you!


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