Mexican Chicken and Vegetables in Foil Packets – Easy Preparation, Easy Cleanup

Television commercials and Internet sites are pushing foil packet cooking and for good reasons. The food preparation is fast and there is little clean up. Non-stick aluminum foil makes this kind of cooking even easier. But you have to use the foil correctly. As the package notes, the-non stick side of the foil is the dull side. Use the other side and you could have a sticky mess.

According to the Reynolds Kitchen Web site. foil packet cooking has many advantages, and they are cited in the article, “Foil Packet Cooking Tips.” For one thing, foil packets are perfect for low-fat cooking. You can add extra flavor to packets and that flavor won’t be lost in the bottom of a pan or grill. Foil packets are also a way to customize meals. If a guest doesn’t like an ingredient or is allergic to it, just leave that ingredient out of his or her packet.

Betsy Kline, “Post-Gazette” Staff writer, touts the advantages of foil packet cooking in her article, “Foil Packet Neatly Cooks Complete Dinner.” As Kiine explains, “A meal in a foil envelope is hard to beat for convenience and ease of cleanup.” Foil packet cooking is also perfect for solo dinners. Whether you’re fixing packets for one or a crowd, consider the meat size. How much is a serving? How long will it take for a serving to cook?

Once you have fixed your first foil packet meal you will be sold on this type of cooking. Adults, kids and guests will love this recipe fo Mexican Chicken and Vegetables in Foil. This recipe calls for chicken thighs, which are more flavorful than breasts. You can use chicken breasts in this recipe, but my family prefers thighs.

Ingredients

2 medium potatoes

1 green pepper, chopped

4 large chicken thighs (or two small per serving)

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup medium salsa

4 slices low fat Monterey Jack cheese

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Tear off four large squares of release foil. Coat the center of each square with cooking spray.

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Place a layer of potatoes in the center of each foil square. Sprinkle chopped green peppers over potatoes. Place a chicken thigh on top of the vegetables. Season thighs with chili powder, cumin, salt an pepper. (You may omit the salt if you wish.) Top each thigh with 1/4 cup of salsa and a slice of Monterey Jack cheese.

Bring up the sides of the foil and fold once, leaving a small space for steam, and fold again. Crimp the opposite edges of the packet tightly. Set foil packets on a jelly roll pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. The food inside the packet will be very hot, so cut a hole in each packet to let the steam escape before opening. Makes 4 fragrant and delicious servings.

Copyright 2008 by Harriet Hodgson