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How to Bake Salmon in a Packet

You can bake salmon or other proteins and vegetables in a parchment paper packet (also called “en papillote”) for a flavorful, low-mess meal. Watch as we fold the packet and share our secrets for seasoning the salmon to make a delicious dinner.

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-I'm Sarah with the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen, and I'm gonna show you a classic cooking technique that's practically foolproof. If you've ever seen the term on poppy oat on a menu, that's what this is. It's food that's baked in packet made of parchment paper, but here's the real secret, it's so quick and easy. It almost seems wrong. Let me show you how to do it. Today, I'm using salmon, but you could just as easily swap it for chicken breast, shrimps, scallops, or even just vegetables, but no matter what you use, make sure you use with the right size of parchment. We found that a 12-inch square works well for fish. The ticket is to make sure the parchment is big enough to easily pop with the stream. Next, layer on the flavorings. Any fresh herbs like mint, dill thyme, rosemary, or tarragon are excellent as our aromatics like leeks, onions, ginger, garlic, fennel, capers, and olives. Lemons and oranges are also favorites. The thing is you can easily tailor the flavors to suit your own preferences. Now, for the all important technique of folding, while there are several ways to do it, this is the simplest and what we use most in the test kitchen. Watch closely. First, lift 2 sides of the parchment over the fish and fold several times to form a tight seal. Then tuck the ends under the fish. The key here is breathing room. Don't fold the packet too tightly or there won't be anywhere for the steam to go. Now, just place on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven. Figuring out when the fish is done isn't as tricky as might think. After baking for about 12 minutes, cut a slit in one of the package, and the fish flakes easily with the fork, you're good to go. If not, no worries, just return all the package to the oven and bake for a few more minutes. There you have it. With Better Homes and Gardens Secrets to Success, classic cooking techniques can be quick, easy and delicious.