Chicken and Cucumber En Papillote with Toasted Almonds

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Chicken and Cucumber En Papillote with Toasted Almonds

Chicken and Cucumber En Papillote with Toasted Almonds

Chicken and Cucumber En Papillote with Toasted Almonds
Ingredients

– SERVES 4.
– PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes.
– COOKING TIME 30 minutes.
– 4 chicken breast halves, about 6 ounces each, skin on.
– 4 teaspoons unsalted butter.
– 2 tablespoons sunflower oil.
– 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and seeded.
– 2 tablespoons olive oil.
– 1 teaspoon smoked sweet (mild) paprika.
– ¾ cup whipping cream.
– 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves.
– 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted.
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Instructions

Step 1: Season the skin of the chicken with salt and pepper. Melt the butter with the sunflower oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is foaming, add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook about 5 minutes until the skin is golden and crisp. Remove the breasts from the pan and leave to one side.
Step 2: To prepare the cucumber, cut each piece in half crosswise about the same length as the chicken breast halves, then cut into strips, about ⅛ inch thick. Wipe the skillet clean, then heat over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and cucumber, season with salt and pepper and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, tossing continuously, until the cucumber is translucent but still retaining its crunch. Add the paprika and stir to coat the cucumber, then remove it from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Step 3: Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F. Lay four large sheets of parchment paper, each about 12 inches square, on the countertop. Put one-quarter of the cucumber on one of the sheets, arranging it lengthwise in the middle. Put the chicken lengthwise on top, then fold in the sides and the bottom end of the paper so the top is still open. Pour 3 tablespoons of the cream into the top, then fold the paper over and tightly fold the top to seal and make a package. Repeat to make 4 packages in total.
Step 4: Put the packages in a roasting pan and cook 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and leave the packages to rest 2 minutes until they are cool enough to handle. Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar, which will keep the chicken breasts warm without overcooking them. Carefully open one end of each package and pour the cooking juices into a small sauté pan. Close the packages again and return the chicken to the oven. Bring the cooking juices to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes until the juices reduce by half.
Step 5: Meanwhile, whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Remove the sauté pan from the heat and whisk the cream into the reduced chicken juices. Return the pan to the heat and bring to a simmer, then immediately remove it from the heat. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Slide the paper packages carefully onto plates and open the tops. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds before serving and serve with the sauce alongside.

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