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[I'm an amateur that experiments.]

I recently realized I like chicken wrapped in tin foil after using salt, pepper and oregano on it, in 250C for up to 2 hours.

Also, I used sliced lemon on parts of it [during cooking].

However, I wonder if any other spices would be suitable and if any other wrapping would be better.

I heard the roumor that tin foil is unhealthy compared to cooking paper but I don't know if it's correct.

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Can you make this question more specific? Tons of other spices and ways of flavoring chicken (glaze, marinade, brine, etc.) are good. There are many ways to bake chicken besides wrapped (in a covered casserole, in a dish, on a rack, etc.). The health of aluminum foil is a debated issue and all we can give you are studies back and forth. –  justkt Jan 17 '11 at 13:24

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you're worried about the aluminum foil, you can always just use a covered casserole dish ... it might not hold all of the steam in, though. (there are methods, like mixing a pough of flour and water, then using that to seal the lid on the pot).

Also, if you're worried, I'd just consider not using acids, like lemon; aluminum pots and pans react to acids, and I'd only assume aluminum foil would to.

You could also switch to parchment paper, which is the original for cooking 'en papillote' (in paper).

But 'better' is subjective -- easier to clean up (aluminum foil wins, I think), cheap (maybe the casserole dish, as it's reusable), more impressive (probably the parchment paper).

As for spicing ... search for 'chicken en papillote' on any internet serch engine and you'll find lots of recipes.

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Are you talking about wrapping chicken parts (as opposed to a whole bird) and cooking at 250c for 2 hours? I ask because that's a really high temperature to cook chicken parts for so long. They must be practically stewed and falling in shreds when you get done if that's what you're doing. Nothing wrong with that--it can be really nice--but if you aren't able to trap all the moisture in with the chicken you're going to get super-dry leathery chicken.

If that's your cooking method and you're not after dry, nasty chicken, you're best off sticking with foil. The pouch will be as close to airtight as you can get, and it's entirely moisture-proof.

250c is nearing the burning point of most parchment--maybe even exceeding it--especially for 2 hours' cooking time. You can still use it, but it will become dark brown and very brittle. It will likely not be good for holding moisture in, and you risk it falling to pieces in your food when you try to take it off.

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A key ingredient to my oven-roasted chicken is tarragon. Goes well with some oregano and thyme.

A little more foreign in my area, but an equally good option is paprika, cooked alongside onions.

Not sure what you meant about foil being unhealthy. Maybe because it keeps all of the fats in? In the flavor sense, this is very good because the result is juicy and tender. Other cooking methods such as a rotisserie claim to let fats drain off, and some claim this makes it healthier.

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I second the Tarragon notion and add celery salt to the list of yummy things to use. If you have a grill you can also do something similar for BBQ, and do this with vegetables as well.

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