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How to Cook in Parchment

The Martha Stewart Show

Cooking en papillote, or in parchment paper, is a classic technique for preparing delicious and healthy meals. The parchment packets may be prepared up to a day in advance, and are perfect for a single serving when you are cooking for one.

To ensure vegetables cook through, slice them thinly and evenly. Also, be sure to close, or crimp, the parchment packet completely so steam does not escape while the food cooks. Never open the parchment packet to check on the food -- be sure to follow all the cooking times specified in the recipe.

Parchment paper is impregnated with silicone, which prevents it from catching fire. Parchment is grease-, moisture-, and relatively heat-resistant.

Get step-by-step instructions for folding parchment.

What to Cook in Parchment

You can cook a variety of foods in parchment, including chicken, shellfish, fish, and vegetables. Add aromatic ingredients to flavor the dish. Flavorful additions include ginger, white wine, stock, herbs, and scallions.

Health Benefits

Cooking in parchment paper creates naturally low-fat foods as the process doesn't require added fats or oils.

Recipes Using Parchment

Now that you've learned the basics of cooking in parchment, try today's featured recipes: Asian Pears, Halibut, and Moroccan Chicken.

Then, once you've mastered cooking in parchment, try some of Martha's other favorite recipes: Ginger-Scallion Chicken Breasts Baked in Parchment, Salmon, Spinach, and Potatoes Baked in Parchment, and Mussels.

Comments (2)

  • uaskigyrl 4 Jan, 2011

    Hi bkcthree, are you sure it was parchment or did you use wax paper? Wax paper will burn in the oven, parchment will not....I learned this the hard, embarrassing

  • bkcthree 12 Jul, 2010

    when I used parchment to make some sugar cookies as suggested with a recipe it almost caught fire! my whole house was smoked out in less than five minutes...what did I do wrong?