Lemon-Thyme Fish En Papillote

Fish is one of those things that is deceptively easy to cook yet also deceptively impressive. Perhaps because of its sheer delicacy, the home cook is often intimidated, and opts instead for heartier, less finicky proteins. The truth, though, is that fish is simple, healthy, and delicious. The only way to ruin a lovely cut of fish is to overcook it, so make sure to keep a careful eye on the clock and you’ll be fine! One of my favorite ways to cook fish is en papillote, or “in parchment.” This is a French technique, which more or less ensures that flavor and moisture will be infused into your fillet. The flavoring in this recipe should provide a balance of richness from the olive oil and butter, zest from the lemons, and just a hint of sweetness and spice from the maple syrup and paprika. The thyme provides an intoxicating aroma and earthy, herbaceous nature to the dish.

What You’ll Need:
Parchment paper
Olive oil
White wine
Maple syrup
White flakey fish (like Cod, Tilapia, Snapper, Sole, or Flounder.  I used Cod.)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Line your baking dish with a large piece of parchment paper: you will enclose your fish in the parchment so allow an adequate amount of additional paper to do so.

Salt and pepper your fillet, and place it in the center of the dish. Slice one clove of garlic into thin flakes, and sprinkle it on top.

Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil and maple syrup, then add a pinch of paprika. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon, and finish with a splash of dry white wine.  Slice a bit of butter and place right on top of the fish.

Place a few sprigs of thyme on top, then slice the second half of your lemon into rounds and garnish the fillet with them.

Close the parchment around the fish, and seal as best you can (it doesn’t have to be absolutely air-tight, but try to make sure that it is closed).

Cook fish for 12-15 minutes, remove, open parchment. Collect the excess sauce in the bottom of your parchment and drizzle it on top, and enjoy!