Chicken, Tomato & Zucchini Packets
One of the best things about this meal, besides being quick and simple, is that it is almost completely free of any kitchen clean up! By baking the chicken and vegetables in little foil or parchment packages, you don’t have to worry about scrubbing down a pan that is coated with the remnants of roasted vegetables. It felt so good to just wad up the foil and toss it in the trash! I am sure Ben was thankful as he is almost always the one who does the dishes after dinner.
So, is this quick, simple and clean-up free meal any good? I thought so. The recipe is from Eating Well and is full of vegetables. I love when a meal is heavy on warm cooked veggies. Having a salad can be a good way to get your daily amount of vegetables, but it can often become monotonous. This is a good way to actually incorporate vegetables into your main course instead of having a separate salad with your meal.
I used more tomatoes than called for in the recipe, replaced the cubanelle pepper with an anaheim, and only used one shallot since the ones at the grocery store were monsters! These guys were huge. I also made the great error of leaving out the mustard. This came to my attention as they were coming out of the oven…not the best timing. So, I just spread some mustard onto the chicken after it was cooked, and all was well. I am sure it would have been better had I remembered the mustard earlier, but it didn’t ruin dinner. I served the chicken with white rice, and so the liquid that remained in the packets was a good sauce despite its thin consistency. Since I had it on hand I used dried thyme, but I think that fresh would give this a much better flavor.
Overall, a good, tasty meal that can be scaled down to make a quick dinner for 2. If you’re like me, finding recipes and cooking for 2 is often a challenge, unless you want leftovers for the rest of the week. A reviewer on eatingwell.com said she doubled the ingredients and cooked everything in a Dutch oven, so that is another way to go to serve a larger crowd. Enjoy!
Chicken, Tomato & Zucchini Packets
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
- 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
- 2 sweet banana peppers, or cubanelle peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used 1 anaheim)
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced (I used 1)
- 1 1/2 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- For the foil packets you will need 4 pieces of foil, about 18 inches in length.
- Place a chicken breast in the center of one piece of foil and spread with mustard.
- Toss zucchini, peppers, shallots, tomatoes, oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Place about 1 1/4 cups of the vegetable mixture on top of each piece of chicken.
- Close the packet to cover the ingredients. Starting at the top, seal the packet by folding the edges together in a series of small, tight folds. Twist the tip of the packet and tuck it underneath to help keep the packet closed. Place the packets on a large rimmed baking sheet (packets may overlap slightly). Bake until the vegetables are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F, about 25 minutes. (Carefully open one package to check for doneness and be cautious of the steam.) Let the packets rest unopened for 5 minutes before serving.