Poisson en Papillote (Fish Baked in Parchment Packets)
This simple preparation of red snapper, inspired by the restaurant Le Brulot in Antibes, calls for cooking the fish in a parchment packet with white wine, lemon, and fresh herbs, trapping the fish’s delicious juices and keeping it moist. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2012 issue along with Sylvie Bigar’s story The Road to Paradise.
- 4 (4-oz.) red snapper filets
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 16 sprigs thyme
- 8 sprigs rosemary
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup white wine
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped herbs, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, or chervil (any combination)
- 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
- Heat oven to 450°. Cut out four 16″ x 10″ heart-shaped pieces parchment paper; fold hearts in half lengthwise to form a crease down the middle. Place a filet in the center of one half of one heart, placing it next to the crease; season with salt and pepper, and place 4 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs rosemary, 1 bay leaf, 1 tbsp. butter, and 1 tbsp. oil on top. Fold other half of heart over filet, and starting at the narrow end, begin folding open edges up; move 1⁄2” down the fold and create another fold. Repeat folding until packet is almost closed at the wide end; pour 2 tbsp. wine in open hole, and then fold to close it tightly. Transfer packet to a baking sheet, and repeat with remaining parchment paper hearts, filets, herbs, butter, oil, and wine.
- Bake until fish is cooked through, about 8 minutes. To serve, open packets and discard whole herbs; transfer filets to serving plates, sprinkle with finely chopped herbs, and serve with lemon wedges.