Mustard and thyme flavor chicken and veggies in this easy dinner.

Matthew G. Kadey
Source: EatingWell Magazine, July/August 2009




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (or see Grill Variation, below).

  • To prepare packets, start with four 20- to 24-inch-long pieces of parchment paper or foil. Fold in half crosswise. With the parchment or foil folded, draw half a heart shape on one side as you would if you were making a Valentine. Use scissors to cut out the heart shape. Open up the heart.

  • Place a chicken breast on one side of each open heart fairly close to the crease and leaving at least a 1-inch border around the edges for folding 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 degrees F, about 25 minutes. (Carefully open one package to check for doneness--be cautious of the steam.) Let the packets rest unopened for 5 minutes before serving.

  • Grill Variation: Cooking in packets is great for the grill, but it's not safe to put parchment paper over an open flame, so use foil. To prepare packets for grilling, start with eight 20- to 24-inch-long pieces of foil. Layer two sheets for each of four packets (the double layers will help protect the contents from burning). Arrange the ingredients on one half of each double layer. Fold the foil over the ingredients and tightly seal the packets by crimping and folding the edges together. Grill over medium heat for 14 to 16 minutes, rotating the packets to another spot on the grill about halfway through to ensure even cooking.


Equipment: Parchment paper or foil

Tip: It's difficult to find an individual chicken breast small enough for one portion. Removing the thin strip of meat from the underside of a 5-ounce to 6-ounce breast--the “tender”--removes about 1 ounce of meat and yields a perfect individual portion. Wrap and freeze the tenders and when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry or for oven-baked chicken fingers

Nutrition Facts

243 calories; protein 30.5g; carbohydrates 7.2g; dietary fiber 2.2g; sugars 3.5g; fat 9.1g; saturated fat 1.7g; cholesterol 78.3mg; vitamin a iu 829.3IU; vitamin c 39mg; folate 36.6mcg; calcium 39mg; iron 1.7mg; magnesium 50.7mg; potassium 620.2mg; sodium 520.7mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

Reviews (3)

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7 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 0
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
Great dish and super easy to make. I just use squares of parchment paper and wrap the corners towards the middle. Works great. I also mixed the mustard in with the veggies to coat them better. Taste delicious!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I made this with a drained can of stewed tomatoes instead of fresh and put it in a dutch oven. Served it with brown rice. Added 1 teas corn starch to liquid from tomatoes and made a little sauce for the rice.Yum.. JFA Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Would leave out the shallots too much of an onion taste. Chicken was very tender. I agree with the other comments do not cut in the paper in a heart. A square would have worked much better. I would also add some additional season as it was a tad bland. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I try to use parchment and tin foil sparingly (cost and the tree hugger in me). This dish can be done in a covered pan in the oven and on the grill. Cast iron is the best. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Easy to make very little clean up and the result is fantastic. Don't be afraid of making the packets - just follow the directions and keep parchment paper on hand! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Parchment description confusing I don't understand why you cut out the heart shape in the parchment paper... Won't that leave a hole for steam/air to escape? I just the the pocket the normal way... Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Not a review but a question Hello. The picture looks very yummy. I have one question though...does this dish taste like mustard? There are people in my household who do not like a strong mustard taste me included. Read More