Even up here in the lower Adirondacks, where the temperatures are usually 5-10 degrees cooler than in the valley, it has just been too hot for this mama. After five years of insisting that "I don't need no stinkin' air conditioning", I finally broke down and bought an air conditioner for the downstairs.
Yes, this was the June that broke this camel's back.
My poor children are very tolerant of their mother's energy reducing tendencies (which also spill over into turning off lights behind them and ridiculously low temperatures in the house over the winter).
I maintain that I am teaching them valuable life lessons in both cost reduction and the conservation of precious resources. They would maintain that I am inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on them.
When they have teen aged daughters of their own, we will reopen the conversation about what cruel and unusual punishments consists of... I wonder if they will have had a paradigm shift by then. Something tells me, they will.
Ahyhoo, while I love cooking in parchment (it's the standard treatment for fish in casa de Cher), I was not highly motivated to turn on the oven on a 95F day to make dinner.
Since I was not too confident about throwing parchment on the grill (visions of flaming paper and a ruined dinner were bouncing around in my head), aluminum foil was the cooking medium.
I had chicken already in the refrigerator, so that ended up being the protein of choice. The tomatoes were left over from another project & I had an abundance of pesto in the freezer from a recent pesto-palooza bout geared toward using up CSA produce. Paired with pickled cucumbers and semolina bread, it was a light but satisfying dinner.
Pesto Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes "en Papillote"
I served one packet per person, so here is the ratio for one packet - to serve more people, just do the multiplication :-)
2 chicken tender cutlets or 1/2 of a chicken breast pounded to 1/2" thickness (~6 oz total weight)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs pesto
6 cherry tomatoes or other small tomato
Preheat grill to medium high heat.
Prepare one piece of aluminum foil for each packet you plan to make - be sure to size appropriately to the contents (I usually cut an 8" x 8" or 6" x 12" piece). With the foil resting on a flat surface, drizzle 1/2 Tbs of the oil in the center of the foil - making sure the oil is spread out enough to cover the area that the chicken will be setting on.
Arrange the chicken in the center of the foil piece. Season with salt & pepper. Spread the pesto over top of the chicken pieces and press the tomatoes into the pesto. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and seal the packets - being sure to fold over the seams to prevent a crazy, dripping mess all over your grill.
Place the foil packets directly onto the grates in the warmest part of the grill. Cook for ~9 minutes.
Let rest for five minutes before opening - be careful, it will probably still be steamy... And enjoy!
This post participate in The Daring Cooks. Our July 2012 Daring Cooks’ host was Sarah from All Our Fingers in the Pie! Sarah challenges us to learn a new cooking technique called “Cooking En Papillote” which is French and translates to “cooking in parchment”.
Stay cool, y'all!