Chicken Parcels are quick and easy to assemble – chicken legs, lemon and herbs baked in foil parcels. Great for children learning to cook. Eat hot or cold.
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Chicken Parcels are easy to make and are ideal for assembling the night before and putting in the oven in the morning on the timer, or putting in the oven when you get home.
You can eat the Chicken Parcels hot or cold. Leave them wrapped in foil and refrigerated until needed. They travel well as picnic food and I’m thinking of having them next weekend when I’m back at Tolethorpe Hall near Stamford to see The Merry Wives of Windsor with my mum. When we went in June we were both feeling a bit stressed so we raided Waitrose for a picnic, but this time I’ll be doing it properly.
You could put extra vegetables in the parcels, such as mushrooms or peppers. It’s an easy recipe for children to get involved with, just two points to mention:
- You need to wash your hands every time you touch the chicken and wipe down any surfaces that might have raw chicken on them
- You must be very careful when you unwrap the parcels as the steam that comes out can burn. Either use oven gloves or tongs, or handle gingerly.
- Meat thermometer – These days I use my digital thermometer to cook all poultry. It tells me when the internal temperature is reached and having the screen outside the oven makes it easy to read. Chicken is cooked when the temperature is at least 75°C, although I prefer to leave it to 80-85°C
- 1 small onion, or 2 shallots
- 1 lemon
- 4 chicken legs
- Olive oil
- Fresh herbs e.g. rosemary, parsley
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/ gas mark 7/ 425°F
- Peel and slice the onions or shallots
- Cut 4 slices off the lemon (about half the lemon) and juice the rest
- Cut the foil to 30 x 45cm/12"x18"
For the Chicken Parcels:
- Lay out the pieces of foil and divide the onions between them, placing the onions in the centre
- Pat the chicken with kitchen towel to dry it
- Put a chicken leg on top of the onions
- Spray or drizzle the oil onto the chicken and rub in gently with your fingers. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken
- Drip the lemon juice over the chicken (about 1-1 1/2 teaspoon per joint). Arrange the herbs and lemon slice on top of the chicken
- Pull the longest sides of foil over the chicken and make a double fold. Make a double fold in each side of the foil so that you have a neat parcel
- Arrange the four parcels on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes
- Carefully unwrap the foil VERY CAREFULLY starting at a side, so that the chicken is mostly uncoveredBEWARE! Very hot steam will come out of the parcel so keep your fingers away from the opening
- Return the tray to the oven and cook uncovered for a further 15-20 minutesIf you have a meat thermometer, use it to check when the chicken is doneThe internal temperature is at least 75°C (although I prefer to leave mine to 85°C)
- If you are serving cold, e.g. for a picnic, drain some of the juice away and re-wrap the chicken. Once it has cooled, refrigerate until needed.