chicken en papillote {ffwd}

chicken provencal en papillote

I was seriously challenged by this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie: Curried Chicken, Peppers, and Peas en Papillote. It’s not that I didn’t think I’d like it. It’s that, first of all, I have a kitchen overflowing with fresh produce from my farm share. This week we picked up 10 POUNDS of tomatoes, yes, that’s 10 pounds, and I’d just finished up last week’s 6 pounds. That’s in addition to 3 pounds of potatoes, another 10 cucumbers, another 7 items plus a slew of pick-your-own. Clearly, it’s the peak of the summer harvest season. And I won’t even mention the vegetables from last week that I haven’t quite used up… The second thing is that Howard isn’t wild about the flavor of curry. So, it was hard to get my head around making a dinner of chicken steamed in foil packets with peas (not in season fresh, and how can I buy frozen vegetables with all the fresh ones in the house?).

What to do? Well, I channeled my inner Cher and decided not to follow directions. I had a red onion and a red pepper on hand, so all set there. I liked the idea of the green peas, so I sliced up some cooked green beans into pea-sized slices for color. What else would go with those? I decided to add a handful of halved cherry tomatoes and some Kalamata olives. Given the landscape of these ingredients, I substituted crumbed herbes de Provence instead of curry powder. Et voila! I think I’ll call it chicken provençal en papillote.

Ingredient Landscape

I have 8 bell peppers that I plan to stuff tomorrow, so I made a double batch of this rice pilaf using pistachios and adding some diced red and purple peppers, using some of it as tonight’s side. The rice was quite moist, so it will make a good stuffing in addition to an excellent side.

We’ve made a few other recipes from AMFT en papillote. I always forget what a great technique this is. The only thing is that I think one big packet would be fine. I didn’t plan on presenting each diner with their own packet and ended up combining both packets into one bowl for serving. Even though I halved the recipe, we still had plenty of leftovers, so for us, the serving size in the recipe was on the large size.

Ready to go

If you make up the packet(s) in advance, as I did, dinner is a snap. Just remove the packets from the fridge and let them bake while you make the accompaniments. And now that I’ve successfully modified it, I hope to remember to use this method again and again.


To see what the other Doristas did with their chicken, check their links here. The original recipe can be found in in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.


Posted on 5 September 2014, in French Fridays with Dorie, Summer CSA and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Betsy, I totally goofed up on what we were supposed to be making this week, but I’ve made this several time with different variations. I do like the curry FYI.

    Since you were a guest on CCC, check out the roasted tomato sauce (and storing ideas) from river cottage veg. I liked it, and a great way to take advantage of all of those tomatoes! I wouldn’t make the ketchup again, but a definite yes on the sauce. Just a thought. I wish I had more stashed in the freezer.

    Good luck with all those veggies. It looks like you made a delicious alternative!!!

  2. Betsy, I really love your interpretation of this week´s recipe and the dish you created – next time I cook en papilotte, I will definitely use some tomatoes and different herbs too. The bumper crop tomatoes will make an excellent tomato sauce, as Candy so aptly pointed out – there is a wonderful recipe in the River Cottage book for that and several mor recipes for all those other veg you have on your hand right now ( I will be making the Roasted Tomato Ketchup again this week, the kids loved it) – thank you for sharing your thoughts on this recipe!
    Have a great weekend,

  3. Wootwoot! thanks for updating that a large parcel worked too! Enjoyed your post!

  4. Betsy, I’m envious of all your tomatoes! It seems like tomatoes are getting harder to grow in Oklahoma. We are just too hot and dry most summers. Right now I have a grape tomato plant covered in green tomatoes that won’t ripen! I like your changes to the recipe and think you might have hit upon something a bit more flavorful than the curry version. My family didn’t enjoy it. My son actually thought it a waste of chicken:)

  5. Lucky you with all the fresh produce. I think olives were an excellent addition…mine seriously needed a boost of flavor. Yeah, these husbands of ours sure put a damper some of the more exotic recipes, don’t they?

  6. Betsy, I love your changes to this recipe…it sounds like it would have so much more flavor, especially with the addition of olives and tomatoes! I might have to give your version a try!
    Have a great weekend!

  7. Hi Betsy, sounds like your one busy gal with all that produce hanging around, love the changes you made to this recipe.

  8. Great twists! Your dish looks great.

  9. I love that you used whatever veges you had on hand. I think this recipe, like stir fry, is born for that purpose. Hope you had a good weekend.

  10. Love your version – best to enjoy the harvest while you can. And the saffron rice pilaf sounds wonderful, too! Good luck with all those tomatoes – I bet you’ll be coming up with some good uses for them.

  11. Great job making it work for you. Your version sounds delicious!

  12. I love that you used what you had on hand. And, holy tomatoes Batman!

  13. Nice to know that my administrative partner is so brilliant. Great shift to cooking what’s local and seasonal and available. I loved everything about your version. I also envy you all your fresh produce. Well, maybe I don’t envy you having to find uses for all of it but know you will enjoy some of the largesse this winter.

  14. I am glad you enjoyed your rogue recipe:) Looks like you will be having fun using up your summer bounty. I see tomato sauce in your future.

  15. I am almost overwhelmed thinking of all that amazing fresh produce…and how busy you will be using it. It is absolutely fabulous, so good luck coming up with new and old ways to use your bounty. You were certainly off to a great start by subbing the green beans. And I love the idea of herbs de Provence. How ironic that yours ended up sounding more French than the one we all knocked out :) I also appreciate the comment about using one big “en papillote”. Not sure why (didn’t give it much thought….) but I made all the little packages and then ended up combining them all anyway. C’est la vie ! –Tricia

  16. Well done! My in laws have a garden and a few weeks back they sent us home with a huge basket loaded up with freshly harvested fruits and veggies. For two weeks straight I was planning every meal around what was going to go bad if I didn’t use it up soon. It was like a race against my crisper. Good luck with those tomatoes.

  17. Looks like your additions worked out just perfectly. Those little tomatoes added a great color to the dish. Our garden is done for the year so now I will HAVE to buy frozen. Ugh!

  18. I have to agree with Tricia, (not too often) but the idea of one large “en papillote” is
    interesting. I think I do individual packets only for photos, and that is really silly. As for
    all your veggies, you are on your own with that one. 5 lbs of potatoes from Wegmen’s
    throws me.

  19. What did you do with your 10 pounds of tomatoes? I am jealous. We usually can tomatoes, but I think we’ll probably skip it this year. Your adaptation sounds delicious. It is hard to buy out of season vegetables in summer, when there are so many great fresh ones.

  20. Your changes are 100% approved :-)
    I hope you figured out what to do with all those veggies!

    (P.S. Guess where we’re having dinner Friday night? I am so making sure one of us orders a souffle this time…)

  21. 10 pounds of tomatoes? Oh, i’m envious!!!

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