Fusi di Pollo al Limone nel Cartoccio {Chicken w/Lemon in Parchment}


This year I treated myself to La Cucina Italiana magazine for Christmas. My first issue arrived a week or so ago. I literally turned off the computer {shocking} and immersed myself into the pages ignoring all else. I think I’ve mentioned to you before my long love affair with this magazine and my constant “borrowing” of my mother’s subscription much to her dismay ; )

This edition has an entire section called “Into the Fold” Cooking in parchment…I pretty much stopped there. Not that I don’t want to make EVERYTHING in the magazine. You see, I have this adoration for cooking in packages, be it aluminum foil or parchment. I’m sure this has to do with the fact that I hate doing dishes ; )

Now it was just a matter of choosing which into the fold recipe to make first. Since I happened to have chicken thighs fusi di pollo al limone nel cartoccio was the winner. That’s a mouthful isn’t it. It means Chicken with lemon in parchment. And it’s just that. With all the lemons around it made perfect sense. And well because I can’t help myself I made a few itty bitty okay maybe slightly more, adjustments.

If you like lemon, you’ll like this dish, and if you like cooking in parchment, check out our Spaghetti al Cartoccio {Spaghetti in Parchment}!



Adapted from La Cucina Italiana Magazine, March/April 2011 Edition
What you’ll need: {Makes 4 servings}
2 large lemons – room temperature
1 pound new potatoes – cut into 1/4″ rounds
kosher salt
3 1/2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano – grated
1 cup basil leaves – thinly sliced
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 bay leaves
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

12 – 12-15″ squares of Parchment

What to do:
1. Using a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife, cut zest from ONE lemon lengthwise in wide strips {avoiding the white pith} Slice zest into thin strips. Place in a small saucepan, cover with 2″ water. Bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Drain, set aside.

2. From the same lemon, cut away white pith and discard. Cut each section of fruit away from the membranes. Place sections in a bowl, set aside.

3. From remaining lemon, cut 2 thin slices; put in a medium saucepan. Squeeze juice from rest of lemon. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon water, set aside. RESERVING remaining juice.

4. Put potatoes in saucepan with lemon slices; add generous pinch salt. Cover with 3″ water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender. Approximately 12 minutes. Drain, discard lemon slices.

5. In a bowl, stir together Parmigiano and basil. Set aside.

6. On a large plate or baking sheet, place chicken and season with salt. Drizzle 1 thigh with 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, then fill with 1/3 cup cheese mixture. Wrap thigh around filling and secure with kitchen twine {Magazine suggested tooth picks but this was quite awkward}. Continue with remaining thighs.

7. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until golden, about 6 minutes, then turn and cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

8. Brush 1 parchment square with lemon juice mixture. Place a second sheet on top and brush again. Place TWO chicken thighs, 1/4 potatoes, 1/4 lemon peels, 1 bay leaf and 2 lemon sections in the center of parchment. Season with salt, 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Brush edges of paper with egg white, then cover with a third sheet of parchment. Crimp edges of paper tightly to seal. Place packet on rimmed baking sheet. Continue with remaining three packets.

9. Bake until chicken is cooked through and fragrant, approximately 30 minutes.

Buon Appetito!


  1. 1

    yum yum! this looks almost like what i made last night although you’re presentation is much better then mine hehe! have a fabulous monday dear!

  2. 2

    Paula, I think this might be making a skinnytaste a appearance soon!

  3. 3

    I think that’s my favorite food magazine too. This recipe just proves that you don’t have to eat a ton of calories to eat Italian.

  4. 4

    Love. Lemon and basil are so good together, and I love how baking in parchment seals in all the natural juices.

  5. 5

    Looks very delicious!

  6. 6

    This makes me want warmer weather to get here! Yum. Looks delicious, Paula!

  7. 7

    Gorgeous and tasty!

  8. 8

    Paula – I know that magazine wows me! The photos, ingredients, recipes all of it. Just gorgeous. I too am a fan of the cooking in packets. It is always so fun to unwrap them 🙂 Love this chicken.

  9. 9

    That looks heavenly, Paula! And yes, I love cooking in parchment – especially boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Just seems to keep the meat juicy and tender. Going right now to check out the spaghetti – intriguing!

  10. 10

    GORGEOUS! I love recipes in parchment. So elegant and the flavor is always amazing!

  11. 11

    I love lemony chicken. This one looks beautiful.

    Btw, everytime I stop by your site I remember your Nutella bacon which I haven’t stopped thinking about ever since I saw it a while ago.

  12. 12

    What a tasty meal!

  13. 13

    Lemony, fresh, and quick clean up too. That’s my kind of chicken meal Paula.

  14. 14

    How pretty is this? It’s filled with wonderful things, so I already know it’s a winner.

  15. 15

    I love the bright flavor of lemon with chicken. Wonderful!

  16. 16

    YUM! I love cooking like this. I have a delicious salmon recipe that’s cooked in parchment. So easy and it makes the most delicious sauce. Haven’t tried chicken yet, but I definitely will now!

  17. 17

    Delight! I’ve been looking for an interesting way to cook chicken. We cook fish so often in parchment or foil pouches; don’t know why I never thought to try chicken. RJ Flamingo commented that boneless, skinless chicken breasts are great in parchment — do you think bone-in would work alright?



    • 17.1

      Hi Heather! Fish is wonderufl in parchment! If you didn’t stuff the inside then I believe it would be just fine cooking with the bone in. You would need to adjust the cooking time accordingly : )

  18. 18

    I think serving a meal in parchment really amps up the ‘wow’ factor. I know I always feel special when I get a little packet of yum-yums. It gives the impression you really care about your guests, and want them to be happy! If you served me the lemony chicken goodness I would feel VERY cared about. 😀

  19. 19

    Does this mean no clean-up??? I’m in!! 🙂 The only thing I make that’s similar to this is salmon covered in a tomato-y sauce wrapped in foil. I love it because there’s no pan to wash after dinner!

    Thanks for another great (and easy!) dinner idea!

  20. 20

    Paula this is looks SO good. I mean everything is great, flavors, no clean up and unique way of serving. Got to try it this weekend.

  21. 21

    La cucina italiana is a great magazine.

    Grazie per la ricetta!


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