Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
All Wrapped Up: Chicken & Orange Parcels
by Gillian F. Taylor

Wes and Hobbie were wondering if too much of a good thing might be a bad thing. Hobbie had met two lovely ladies and invited them to dinner, thinking he and Wes could then have one girl apiece. But Wes had done the same, for the same night! Suddenly, they had two women apiece, and though the idea of a Wes or Hobbie "sandwich" was appealing to them on some levels, they were now old enought to understand that some women wouldn't find that interesting on a first date.

Further down their list of worries was what to feed themselves and their four guests that evening. It had to be something elegant and interesting — not typical "guy fare" — so that maybe at least two of the ladies would be available for a later date. And if the meal was delicious, it could become the focus of the evening, rather than their bungled attempt at scheduling!

The two miscreants were actually pretty proficient at cooking, since they knew it was a great way to attract women. They decided to prepare foil-wrapped parcels of all-in-one meals, containing rice, chicken, and vegetables. The parcels would be opened at the table, so that the fragrance and one-package-per-person concept could delight the diners.

In the end, they needn't have worried, for ALL four of the ladies cancelled on them before dinnertime! By then, Wes and Hobbie had prepared the meal for six. Fortunately, they found that the parcels refrigerated well and they could be cooked another time. They were probably happier to have three servings each of the meal than they would have been with two insincere ladies apiece?

  • 6 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 6 slices of orange, with the peel on
  • pinch saffron threads (a pinch of turmeric may be used as a less expensive alternative to saffron)
  • 60g (2oz) butter
  • 225g (1/2 lb) onions
  • 340g (12 oz) long grain white rice
  • 900ml (1 pint / 3 cups) chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 50g (2oz) pine nuts (optional)
  • 450g (1 lb) leeks
Soak the saffron in an egg cup of hot water for half an hour. Peel and chop the onions and cook them in 30g (1 oz) of butter over a low heat until soft. Add the rice, stirring very gently until every grain is coated with butter and saute, still stirring, until transparent. Pour in the stock, add seasoning and stir well. Cover the pan, turn the heat to very low and let the rice cook for 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, fry the pine nuts in 15g (1/2 oz) of butter for a few minutes.

Take the rice off the heat and leave for a further five minutes with the lid on the pan. Stir the saffton, both liquid and threads, and the pine nuts into the cooked rice.

Trim the leeks and cut into julienne strips, about in long. Melt the rest of the butter over a low heat and cook the leels, stirring occasionally, until soft but not mushy. Season with salt and pepper.

If you hadn't bought the chicken prepared, then skin and trim the chicken breasts.

Preheat oven to 350F (180C/ gas mark 4). Brush six pieces of 12in square foil with butter. Place 1/6 of the rice in the middle of each piece of foil, then 1/6 of the leeks on each pile of rice and top with a chicken breast. Decorate each chicken breast with a slice of orange. Close the foil up to make a parcel and cook in the oven for 30 mins. Check that the chicken is fully cooked before serving, and serve in the foil wrappers.

Note: the rice and leeks can be cooked the day before, and the parcels assembled in the morning and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

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