Quick and Easy Rosemary & Lemon Chicken en Papillote with Potatoes and Warm Spinach Salad

Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  This is great advice – if you follow it.  I love trying new things, and I know it is so easy to consider trying something different to be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.  Different does not have to be difficult.

Prior to last night, I’ve never cooked en papillote (AKA cooking a meal inside folder paper of foil), but i wanted to give it a shot.  After watching several videos showing the process, I decided that the process was simple! It was in no way scary or daunting.  I knew I could do it.
Papillote is the act of baking a dish in folded paper. The paper is folded so that the food steams in its own juices as it is baked. Once I figured out the various ways to fold the paper, the process seemed simple – and it was!
As an FYI, here is a fantastic link from Bon Appetit that show the step-by-step process of cutting and folding the paper properly for baking in the oven:
I decided to start simple with a chicken breast with rosemary, lemon, and olive oil atop asparagus spears.
While the chicken was taking it’s steam bath in the oven, I turned my attention to my stove top. I’d been boiling chopped russet potatoes, and once they were tender, I drained most of the water, and reduced the heat to low.  I added a little Earth Balance non-dairy “butter” (by sight) and bit of garlic powder (as I’d run out of fresh garlic).  I grabbed a whisk, and I whisked the softened/tender chopped potatoes (I know it sounds strange, but it works).  I was left with beautifully textured smashed potatoes.
My boyfriend likes to have a salad with every meal, but I was not in the mood for a cold salad. I pulled spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, and pinenuts out of the fridge and did a light saute.  It was quick and easy.

Rosemary & Lemon Chicken and Asparagus en Papillote with Smashed Potatoes and Warm Spinach Salad

Here is the final product of the evening:

 It was delicious! The lemon infused itself into the flavors of the chicken, and because I used so little else, the dish was healthful!
For dessert, I wanted to follow the easy and quick theme I’d started with my entree and sides, so I googled “easy chocolate cake.”  Of course, countless entries popped up, but I was drawn immediately to the Busy Day Dump Cake on Martha Stewart’s Webpage. Don’t let the name of the cake frighten you. Originally found in Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry cookbook, this cake is quick and easy and requires very little clean-up after, as all the ingredients are dumped, so to speak, into the very pan you are baking it in – hence, dump cake.
Here is the recipe for Busy Day Chocolate Cake:
And yes, it was fabulous!

The photograph is watermarked Peas for Two, but the recipe is the brainchild of Lucida Scala Quinn

In all, this was a fabulous meal that was perfect for two!

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