I LOVE the convenience of this recipe! A Dinner Parcel is exactly what it says! You add everything to your pre made foil parcel and put in the oven until done. It’s as simple as that! But, to get the most of the dinner, you need to add some flavourings or rubs so it all gets really tasty and moist, and the smells when it’s cooking is just wonderful! You can use meat such as pork, chicken, fish, seafood etc. As for vegetables, squashes, carrots, small baby potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, peppers, anything you like!
Choose your meat / fish –
For this I used 1 chicken breast.
Squash, zucchini (cut in 2 inch pieces), baby carrots, baby potatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, turnips, anything you like!
*** just make sure your vegetables are all roughly 2 inch pieces so they all cook the same. If using baby potatoes, cut them in half
2 cloves garlic chopped finely or crushed
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoons Dried Tarragon or a handful of fresh Basil Leaves
2 tablespoons of White Wine
**** see below for other flavour suggestions
1. Set oven to 180 C / 375 F / Gas 5
2. Wash meat / fish etc & prepare vegetables. Cut the vegetables so they are all roughly the same size to ensure even cooking.
3. Take a long sheet of foil. if it is strong foil, then fold over in half once, then on the right and left side, fold the edges 3 times to seal the sides and you should have the top open like an envelope.
If your foil is thin, fold the foil over double before folding over the sides, so that it is a thick layer.
Your parcel needs to be large enough to hold all the goodies you will be putting in them! So you may have to try it a couple of times to get the hang of how large a size foil you need to start with. I used 22 inches long and about 8 inches wide piece of foil.
4. Now the fun bit! Put everything into your parcel, making sure you have folded those sides up securely. I like to add all the meat & vegetables first then add the flavours, wine, oil etc.
5. Fold over the top opening, 3 times so it’s secure, and carefully move the parcel a little up and down so that all the contents mix together. At this point, you can leave in the fridge to marinade or place straight in the oven. Place on a baking tray and let it cook!
6. Cook for 20 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes. Then take a sharp knife or scissors and pierce the centre, then cut the foil open. I usually cut a big ‘X’ across the foil parcel and serve the whole lot on the plate. You can serve with rice etc if you wish.
Be careful when you pierce the foil as the steam may burn you,. Please take care as it will be very hot!
**** Please note, if using fish, cook for 10 – 15 minutes MAXIMUM and ensure your vegetables are small enough to cook in this time. (finger thickness).
Other marinade ideas:
Piri Piri Sauce / dry rub & Olive oil
Jerk Seasoning & olive oil (no need for salt)
Raspberry or cranberry jelly with mint leaves, honey and salt & pepper
A mixture of your favourite herbs or spices, with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange juice
Adding the 2 tablespoons of white wine really does make a wonderful flavour on the dinner, and the smell is delicious!