Roast chicken and mushrooms en papillote

In late April, Muffy Martini’s BFF Patrick sent me his ‘Mushrooms en papillote‘ recipe. That night I was planning to fix my Poulet roti a la Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and I knew the mushroom dish would be a perfect side.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lb of mushrooms (I always get a mix… chanterelle, shiitake, cremini are great for this)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons of chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Cut an 18″x11″ sheet of parchment paper. Fold it in half.
3. Open the paper, and coat one side with 1 tablespoon of butter. Use softened butter and just rub it around the whole side… it’s okay if you have small chunks, it doesn’t need to be even.

4. Tear/cut the mushrooms into medium-ish chunks. To give you a sense of the size, a cremini mushroom could be cut in half – but it’s not terribly important to be precise. If the stems of the mushrooms aren’t super soft, take those parts off because they don’t cook well.
5. Add the salt, pepper, parsley, lemon juice (I usually add just a tiny bit more than the recipe calls for). Add 1 tablespoon of butter, cut into small pieces. Toss it pretty thoroughly.
6. Spread everything onto the buttered half of the parchment paper. Put the other half over it, and roll the edges of the two halves together, making sure there aren’t any big openings.
7. Place it on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes (I usually do 17).

Here is how they came out:

And holy mother were they delicious. Seriously. I love lemon and parsley and these were savory and a bit tart and herbal… heaven. Enjoyed it SO much. Even M got on board.

At the same time, I was working on my whole roasted chicken. I enjoy getting the fresh whole chickens from Whole Foods – if they are on sale – but if I am getting one or two to freeze, I tend to buy the Kroger Private Selection organic chicken. They freeze well and I sometimes even get a coupon via my Kroger Plus card.

(ignore the soiled bottom of my oven!!)

When I roast a chicken, I normally do it in my cast iron skillet and place in the bottom of the skillet carrots and fingerling potatoes. They protect the chicken from burning and the fat and drippings turn into this luscious pan sauce.

When I roast a whole chicken, I truss it so the legs and wings are held in place during cooking. While traditionalists use a trussing needle, I have found that clean, natural twine can work fine with just some simple and convenient knife cuts into the bird. However, when you do these cuts be sure to protect your hands and use a knife that is freshly sharpened.

The first cut should be done on either side of the lower part of the poultry carcass, by the neck skin/flap. Bring the twine over one drumstick, through tip of breastbone, and over the other drumstick.

The second cut should be where the second joint and drumstick join, coming out at the other side. Flip the chicken onto the breast, folding the chicken wings and go through each wing. Pull the string or twine tightly and then tie it.

Basting sauce: at least 2 Tablespoons of butter, 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil and a basting brush. To flavor the basting sauce, sliced carrot and onion. Gently kiss the bird every 8-10 minutes with the basting sauce, and when the sauce runs out, use the fat in the bottom of the cooking pan to keep the bird moist.

When roasting a 3 pound chicken, cook about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Preheat oven at 425 degrees. When oven is ready, prepare the pan. When I am roasting, I use my cast iron and scatter the vegetables evenly across the bottom. Sprinkle the trussed chicken’s interior with salt and smear in 1 Tablespoon of butter. Dry skin of chicken with paper towels, and use remaining Tablespoon of butter to rub over all of chicken.

Place chicken in your cooking pan, breast side up. Cook chicken until skin starts to turn brown, about 15 minutes. Turn chicken on one side for 5 minutes, baste it, then on the opposite side for for 5 minutes, basting it again. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.

40 minutes in to overall cooking time, turn chicken on its other side, salting if you want. I use salted butter so I did not add more salt. Continue basting schedule every 10 minutes. 60 minutes in to cooking time, turn chicken breast up. To check for chicken doneness, prick thick portion of drumstick and juices should be clear yellow.


Adapted from: Child, Julia, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. Mastering the Art of French Cooking. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961. pp 236-242.

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Virginia based lifestyle blogger Whitney of WorthyStyle shares her beauty, fashion, gluten free cooking, family life, and more. Follow along!

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