It has been a busy week of harvesting late spring crops (in the rain) here at Eckert’s! This week we are thrilled to have 10 Eckert –grown items in our Country Store in Belleville. Last night I tried some chicken pouches using our fresh-picked green onions and spring garlic. After I washed and prepared our ingredients, Ella helped me assemble and fold Garlic, Onion & Chicken in Parchment Pockets. Thanks to Ella’s assistance, we had dinner in the oven in just under 20 minutes!
The whole family enjoyed eating their entrées out of parchment paper. In fact, it kind of feels like you are getting a present for dinner when you open your own delicious serving. The combination of mustard and lemon accents the mild flavors of the onion and garlic. Thanks to rave reviews around the dinner table, Ella and I will be making this dish again soon!
A few years ago when we first started growing onions and garlic here on the farm, I did not know much about either crop. Here are some of my culinary tips in case you are new to these crops as well:
Spring onions These are the same plants as the large, papery onions we are more accustomed to seeing in the grocery store. In fact, we will leave some of our onions in the ground to continue to grow for another month. Then we will pull them out of the soil and cure/dry them. This process will allow the outer layer of the onion to become papery.
Spring onions are much milder than cured onions with a hint of sweetness. Use the tops of spring onions like you would use scallions. Chris and I enjoy grilling spring onions, tops and all. Simply rub the greens and bulbs with a little olive oil and grill until the bulb is tender to a knife. Spring onions can be stored in the refrigerator to extend shelf life.
Spring Garlic Our garlic was planted last fall and harvested this spring. Unlike cured garlic we often see in produce departments, spring garlic is moist and fleshy and very mild-flavored. As a rule of thumb, I use two to three times as much spring garlic in recipes that call for cured garlic.
Spring garlic can be used immediately in your favorite recipes, or it can be dried for later use. To dry fresh garlic, hang heads in a dry, dust-free place like a pantry for at least 30 days. Remove and store bulbs on countertop. Dried garlic will keep up to a year. Do not store in the refrigerator.
I hope you will experiment with spring onions and garlic soon in your kitchen!!
Eat well this late spring, Angie
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs. whole grain mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 4 pieces of parchment paper, approximately 12” x 14”
- 1 large lemon, sliced into 8 rounds
- 2 spring onion bulbs, sliced thin
- Green tops reserved from spring onions
- 1 bulb of spring garlic, outer layers removed
- 4 Eckert’s boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 4 sprigs of oregano
- Preheat oven 375 degrees. Whisk together mustard vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.
- Place 2 lemon slices in the middle of 1 piece of parchment. Cut green tops of onions into segments 4 inches long. Divide onion tops into 4 sections and top lemon slices with one-fourth of them. Place one-fourth of the onion bulb slices and two garlic cloves on top of the green onions before topping with chicken breast.
- Dollop 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette on chicken and a sprig of oregano. Pull together parchment ends and crease into a tight fold before folding down against chicken. Working with each open end, crease paper and fold over twice before tucking under the chicken breast to weigh it down during the cooking process. Repeat process of filling and folding with remaining 3 parchment pieces.
- Place parchment pockets on a rimmed baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 160 degrees.
- Serve in parchment pockets immediately with Amish noodles or rice. Makes 4 servings.
- This recipe was inspired by the blog site “Damn Delicious”- Lemon Chicken and Potatoes in Foil on June 13th. It was modified to utilize early summer veggies harvested at Eckert’s.