I’ve been really into the comfort food lately, can you tell?
The weather is finally taking a turn and my first thought is, “omg I need to schedule a spray tan STAT” and my second thought is, “ok, Megan, it’s time to lighten things up and maybe take a step back from pretzels and Ranch Dip every night, k?”
But we’ll get to that in a minute. I’ve got another comfort food for you, but don’t you worry, it’s totally grain-free, fryer-free and junk-food free. Summer body, here I come.
EASY Chicken Parmesan Packets.
I’ve been really into baking chicken in parchment paper lately. Super easy clean-up, juicy chicken, and I love the idea of an entire meal in one little packet. (mostly bc of the no clean-up factor, probably)
I highly recommend brining your chicken ahead of time. I ALWAYS recommend this unless you are doing a marinade. But honestly, I just think either brining or doing a yogurt marinade is always the best way to go. Brining is not complicated. Take chicken. Dump salt on it. Hit it with some water. Let it chill in the fridge for a while.
Sometimes I leave it for 2 days. I recommend this if you really have your shit together (or not! I don’t! I just brine chicken and think ok I have to make this in the next couple of days).
I really like chicken tenders for these packet recipes because I just think they cook more evenly and I feel like I always get juicier chicken. But do what you want. If you’re using a fat ass chicken breast, you’ll want to pound it out so it’s even.
Also also, please make this whole recipe and eat it for leftovers. I have no idea why, but these things taste better as the week goes on. Like soup? It’s weird. Just leave them in their little parchment homes.
K, here’s your stats:
PROTEIN: chicken, duh
HEALTHY FAT: mozzarella, parmesan, almond flour
FIBER-RICH CARBS: marinara, although you won’t get a whole lot here. Highly recommend doing a side of Coconut-Roasted Broccoli with this or putting the whole thing over zucchini noodles. I wouldn’t be mad at a Kale Salad either.
But guys – make sure you’re either making a homemade marinara (like my super easy one) or buying a good quality one. I’ve been obsessed with this cheap-o Prego version or this “cult-favorite” brand (more pricey but sooooo good). Just make sure it doesn’t have added sugar or, you know the drill, “anything weird”.
Easy Chicken Parmesan Packets
Author: Megan Kober, RDN, LD
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 35 mins
8 chicken tenders
1/2 c almond flour
1/2 tsp each: salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion, dried oregano, dried basil
3/4 cup marinara
2 oz shredded mozzarella
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
chopped parsley (optional)
Brine chicken ahead of time. Place them in tupperware, coat them with salt (be generous), and add just enough water to barely cover. Place in fridge fro 30 minutes – 2 days.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Tear off 4 12-inch pieces of parchment paper.
Pat chicken tenders dry, then add a light drizzle of olive just to lightly coat the chicken (so that the breading will stick).
Place almond flour and seasonings in a shallow bowl. Dredge each chicken tender in the flour.
Place 2 tenders on each piece of parchment paper. Top with marinara, mozz and parm.
Fold up the sides and to create a ‘teepee’ over the chicken. Fold the down a couple of times. Then, fold the 2 ends under a couple of times. Don’t stress about this – you’re just creating a little house for your chicken to live in.
Bake chicken packets for 20 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear. And be careful when opening – they’re hot.
Transfer to a plate, or just eat it straight out of the packet. Top with parsley, if you want.
Serving size: 1 packet
No need to bread these with almond flour if you don’t have it or if you don’t want to buy it. Just season with the seasonings and it’ll still be great.
You can also grind almonds to make a flour, if you have a bunch on hand.
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