Paperbark chicken

Paperbark is a natural product which is used for its visual appeal as a platter liner for service. When used as a cooking wrap, it imparts a delicate smokey flavour from the oils. Paperbark is low in tannins and while indigestible, is harmless if consumed accidentally.

The following technique is the easiest way to smoke and cook meats in bark using a hot plate, char-grill or pan.


2 chicken thigh fillets per person
Generous pinch of lemon myrtle
1 piece of damp paperbark (appropriately thinned)
Oil for frying
Natural fibre string


Sear the smooth skinned outer side of the fillets, browning one side only. Remove from heat.

Cut a long pocket, working from the thicker end and spoon in the sauce or chutney. Place the fillet, browned side up, onto the paperbark and wrap it lengthwise then folding the ends over the browned top side of the fillet. Tie up with the string. (Note: Preparation to this stage can be done even several days in advance of service, if necessary.)

Heat pan or grill to very hot and place in the parcel. Heat to smoking and continue cooking to completely blacken all sides of the parcel.

Check for its state of readiness by feel, then leave to rest for five minutes. Remove any remaining string and unfold the paperbark end.

For a cold dish, chill overnight at this stage, fully unwrap and fine slice to 2mm thick slices to be served cold.



Ceratopetalum gummiferum 'Alberys Red' - NSW Christmas Bush

H: 3-4m

W: 2m

Red bracts at Christmas make this a stand out in the garden. Water and feed well while establishing and prune after flowering to maintain a bushy habit. Mulch well for summer heat.