Chicken and Vegetable Ribbons en Papillote with Emeril's Lemon Butter Sauce

"En papillote" translates from the French as cooking food "in paper." This simple cooking method steams the food inside its parchment paper[ package with other ingredients added to impart flavors. The easiest way to slice the vegetables into ribbons that aren't too thin is to use a hand-held, wide blade vegetable peeler.]

Total Time:
1 hr
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 large zucchini, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into slivers
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons herbes de Provence, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 (16 by 24-inch) pieces parchment paper
  • 4 teaspoons dry white wine
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten, optional
  • Emeril's Lemon Butter Sauce, recipe follows
  • 4 sprigs parsley, garnish
  • Emeril's Lemon-Butter Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 3 medium-size lemons, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 sticks unsalted cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside.

  • Using a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini and carrot into thin, wide ribbons. Place the ribbons in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the butter slivers, the shallots, 3/4 teaspoon of the herbes de Provence, the garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Set aside.

  • Lightly season each chicken breast on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Set aside.

  • Fold each parchment sheet in half lengthwise and using scissors, cut each folded sheet into a large heart shape, as if making a valentine. Open the sheets flat and arrange 1/4 of the vegetable mixture in the center of the bottom portion of each sheet and top with a chicken breast. Sprinkle each portion with 1/4 teaspoon of the remaining herbes de Provence, 1 teaspoon of the wine, and dot with 1/2 tablespoon of the remaining butter slivers. Fold the top section of parchment over the chicken and roll the edges together to seal the breasts tightly in the bags.

  • Place the bags on the prepared baking sheet. If desired, using a pastry brush, paint the tops with the egg white. Bake until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 18 minutes.

  • Place the packets on 4 large plates. Using scissors, cut along the top of each bag and roll it back with a fork to expose the chicken and vegetables. Spoon lemon butter sauce over the chicken, garnish each plate with 1 parsley sprig, and serve immediately.

Emeril's Lemon-Butter Sauce:
  • In a small non-reactive saucepan, combine the shallots, lemons, and wine and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing the lemons with the back of a wooden spoon to break them up. Add the cream and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

  • Whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each piece before the previous one has been completely incorporated and removing the pan from the heat periodically to prevent the sauce from getting too hot and breaking; it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the salt and pepper.

  • Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into a saucepan or bowl, pressing against the solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Fold in the parsley and cover to keep warm until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.

  • Yield: about 1 1/2 cups


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