FFWD – Curried Chicken, Peppers and Peas en Papillote

Curried Chicken

For some reason, a lot of my friends were kicked out of Brownies for rebellious behaviour. Not me, though. I went through the whole Girl Guide system and then jumped over to Scouts when I’d exhausted the camping possibilities that the oldest level, Rangers, had to offer. I knew a good thing when I saw it. Weekends away in the woods, longer in the summer, were a haven worth wearing a uniform for during the rest of the year. Besides, there were the badges – even one for reading. Yes, I know, I’ve never been the James Dean type.

One of the highlights of the year was often a trip to Camp Olave, a beautiful oceanside retreat on BC’s Sunshine Coast.

What does any of this have to do with this week’s recipe? Well, the en papilotte method of cooking evokes a very particular memory of a multi-district camp I attended at Camp Olave when I was almost ready to leave Guides for the next level up. We were amongst the oldest girls there, so we were seconded by the leaders for all sorts of minor supervisory jobs – which mostly translated into babysitting the Brownies. It also meant that we were considered ready for more adult behaviour.

So, we were told we’d be the last to be fed when a plan to cook foil dinners in solar ovens failed – the leaders hadn’t factored cloud cover into their planning, even though the “Sunshine Coast” is as rainy as MetroVancouver. The packets were dumped around hastily constructed fires and I didn’t eat until around midnight. I don’t remember what else was in the packet, but I do remember that the chunks of potato were only about half-cooked.

That turned me off cooking in foil completely until I was in my twenties. Cooking fish in foil – in an electric oven only – was one of the tricks I learned to make it look like I actually knew what I was doing in the kitchen.

The three en papillote recipes we’ve done so far in French Fridays have been fabulous, not to mention customizable. This fourth foray into foil (or more elegantly, parchment paper) was no exception. I cooked half the vegetables on their own, so that I could serve them with slices of tofu sautéed with Indian spices for Kevin. The rest I cooked with a half portion of chicken, for me.

I was worried that the ingredients were too simple – just curry powder, salt, and pepper against chicken, onions, peas, and red pepper. It comes out just right, though, steamed in its own juices. I served it with a recipe we tackled way back in 2011, Cardamom Rice Pilaf. It’s the side dish Dorie recommends for the curried chicken and it’s one I’m always looking for an excuse to make. The two make a great combination. One that chases out any memories I might have of half-cooked potatoes in the woods.

You can find this week’s recipe here.

Find links to the rest of the French Fridays crew’s posts here: Curried Chicken, Peppers, and Peas en Papillote


20 thoughts on “FFWD – Curried Chicken, Peppers and Peas en Papillote

  1. OMGreatness! Thanks for the link to third papillote dish brown-sugar-squash-brusselsprouts! While hunting down the various ingredients for FFwd, I came across butternut squash AND brussels sprouts and never thought of doing anything with them! Will be making that soon! I did want to make the cardamon rice pilaf but was unable to find cardamon pods!

  2. I goofed up on what recipe to make, but I’ve made this a few times before. I really like the curry in it. And then wonder why I don’t make it more often. I think I missed that rice, I will have to try it! Your dinner looks delicious!!

  3. I wasn’t a Brownie and have always felt like I missed something! Love your story about your experience:) I’m glad you enjoyed the curried chicken!

  4. I love en papillotte. I really don’t understand why I can’t remember it in between French Friday assignments…
    Your Brownie/Girl Guide story brought back so many memories. My mother went through the Girl Scouts all the way through high school. She really wanted to be a troop leader when I started as a Brownie. As much as I loved my mother, I was not the child who wanted her mother to be the overly-enthusiastic leader of her troop. I endured Brownies and then a couple of years of the first level of Girl Scouts until my next younger sister was old enough to let her be the leader of Brownies again. I think Mom enjoyed our Girl Scout years way more than we did. I think I would have liked it more in a different troop, and if we didn’t have to wear those awful uniforms. I did LOVE the badges. I remember for the “Collecting” badge, having a show of my extensive paper doll collection. I wonder what happened to that collection now. Memories…sigh… Thanks for making me smile.

  5. I was a co-leader for my daughter’s Brownie troop, and then girl scouts. I think my daughter and I both got tired of scouting at the same time…neither of us wanted to camp!
    We really enjoyed this dish…loved the ease of preparation. I do enjoy cooking en Papillote. Have a great weekend!

  6. I always enjoy cooking en papillote as well – such a simple and effective way to extract flavor (and the easy clean-up doesn’t hurt either!). I bet this was extra delicious with the cardamom rice. Have a lovely weekend!

  7. Love your memories of Girl Scouts, I used to belong to the CampFire Girls way
    back when. I don’t even know if they are still around. The memories I have of that
    I would rather forget. Your chicken looks great, and yes, this is a wonderful way to cook, so easy.

  8. I liked your trip down memory lane with girl scouts. My mom and us 3 girls were all scouts. We used to joke that mom could make a thanksgiving meal on a Bunsen burner. LOL. Glad you enjoyed this one.

  9. I just loved your trip down memory lane ! So sweet and funny. I am also with you on how great this technique was. I have done it for FFWD but somehow still haven’t gotten the wake up call to do it outside of Fridays. I think this week it finally registered. Not sure I will make the exact same combo but it was sure nice to have something quick, easy and healthy around…..Tricia

  10. I remember tramp packs cooked in the fire at scout camp. We did them for our Cub Scouts, too. Potatoes, carrots, hamburger, seasoning. Even when it wasn’t completely done it was still delicious!!

  11. After I left the military I went years without making anything in a pouch, or foil because of the bad food I ate when going in the field. I just started to cook fish in foil couple years ago on the bbq and love it. Now I should try this recipe.

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