Ginger-Scallion Chicken Breasts Baked in Parchment
On paper, poultry recipes sound appetizing, but the results can be dry. Not so here. Tuck ginger and scallions in lean boneless chicken, soak in an Asian marinade, and top with shiitakes in a single-serving parchment envelope. Also try: Coconut Rice
- 5 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms, (about 1/3 cup; optional)
- 1 cup boiling water, (if using shiitakes)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 piece (4 inches) peeled fresh ginger, (3 inches finely grated; remainder sliced)
- 4 scallions, white and pale-green parts only (2 finely chopped; 2 cut into matchsticks, for garnish)
- 2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (10 to 12 ounces each)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If using shiitake mushrooms, place them in a small bowl; pour the boiling water over, and let the mushrooms soak until soft, about 15 minutes. Lift mushrooms from bowl; reserve soaking liquid for another use (such as making stock or risotto), or discard. Cut mushrooms into 12 thin slices.
Stir together soy sauce, oil, vinegar, honey, and sliced ginger in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside. Stir together the chopped scallion and grated ginger in a small bowl; set aside.
Rinse chicken, and pat dry. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make 4 pieces total; trim any fat. Using a sharp paring knife, make a long, deep horizontal cut in one side of each chicken piece to create a pocket, being careful not to cut all the way through. Spoon the scallion-ginger mixture into each piece, dividing evenly and spreading.
Transfer stuffed chicken pieces to baking dish with soy-sauce mixture. Marinate at room temperature, turning halfway through, 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place a rimmed baking sheet in oven to heat. Prepare packets (for tips on folding parchment, see Enlightened Cooking). Stack packets; weight with a baking sheet until ready to use (to help seams stay sealed).
Open one short end of each packet. Using a spatula, slide a chicken piece inside. Top each piece with 3 mushroom slices. Crease firmly to reseal.
Carefully transfer packets to preheated baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes; the chicken should be cooked through. Transfer packets to plates. Serve immediately, opening packets at the table. Garnish with remaining scallions.