Cod En Papillote

Cod en Papillote: one of the easiest and most delicious recipes you will ever make. Also, extremely fun to say in your best (worst) French accent. 5 ingredients -if you don’t count the fish/salt & pepper- and 15 minutes is all you need to make this moist, flaky, lemonypepperygarlickyherby deliciousness happen.

“En Papillote”, in French, simply translates to “cooked in paper”. Rocket scientist/archaeological linguist shiz, I know.


Now, I’ll be honest… French crap kinda (really) rubs me the wrong way, so, even the name of this dish gives me the heeby jeebies and sparks icky feelings. We had quite the experience while vacationing in Marseilles, which left me feeling the age-old rude stereotype that French people really aren’t too fond of Americans. I guess we’ll just have to go back to Europe & France, to prove our theory wrong… ;) to all my Frenchies: let me pre-pologize for my skewed perception (prepologize sounded much better than pre-apologize) and go on wit’cha bad self!

Now, if you’re not a fish fanatic, I truly believe this dish (and my sweet & smoky salmon!) could make you a believer. Even James LOVED this dish (probably ’cause lemon-pepper tilapia is one of his favs) – and if you’ve learned anything from reading my mediocre posts, you know that anything James likes is an automatic winner in my book.


To top it all off, while this meal prep is extremely easy, it also yields the easiest cleanup, ever. We ate in our elderly-person rocking chairs on the back porch while watching the dogs play and just balled the wrappers up when we were done. This dish is fancy & fun enough where you can dress it up to serve at an elegant dinner, or dress it down, redneck-back-porch-style – just like us.

The final product tastes so true to it’s respective flavors, it’s unbelievable. Since absolutely none of the flavors are lost during cooking, all of that juicy lemon, roasted garlic, thyme, butter, & white wine stay exactly where you want it to… and when your guests open those pouches, their nostrils are graced with the most savory, delicious-smelling steam treatment, EVER. Now, go buy some fish and get ya wrap on!

Cod En Papillote
  • 4 wild Alaskan cod fillets
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed (1 clove per fillet)
  • 4 tsp butter, divided (1 tsp per fillet)
  • 4 tbsp white wine, divided (1 tbsp per fillet)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced (2 slices per fillet)
  • Fresh thyme (2 sprigs per fillet)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (1/4 tsp per fillet)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large squares of parchment paper, preferably unbleached
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place 1 cod fillet on top of a sheet of parchment paper. Season with ¼ tsp salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Place 2 thin slices of lemon on top of seasoned fillet, then, lay down 2 sprigs of thyme.
  4. Place smashed garlic clove on top of that, then, top garlic with 1 tsp of butter.
  5. Pour 1 tbsp wine around fillet.
  6. Begin folding & crimping edges together, starting at the left, making a crescent/half-moon shape.
  7. Place parchment pouch on a baking sheet and repeat layering & wrapping process with remaining 3 fillets.
  8. Bake on a sheet tray for 10-15 mins max, depending on thickness of fillets.
  9. Remove from oven and place still-closed pouches on plates. Let everyone open their own - it's like Christmas! Enjoy!
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Blogger at Merit + Fork
Chef de Cuisine of Merit + Fork, Nicole's posts are primarily food driven, with a dash of natural health and beauty tips for good measure.
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