Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sheet-Pan Chicken is Hot and So is the Weather

It was 97 degrees F in the shade at our house today, but I still need to tell you about this chicken recipe before I forget (and shout out to Sarah, where I saw the link to the recipe first).  It is fabulous, a total crowd-pleaser and a cook-pleaser because it's so easy.  The vegetables get roasted and, in spots, caramelized; the vegetables under the chicken are bathed in drippings as well. The chicken is juicy, tender, and perfectly savory from the salt.  The crisp chicken skin is highly coveted.

The first time I made this chicken, my family exclaimed over and over - my husband even said it was the best chicken he ever had.  Whoa, baby!  The big kids begged me to make it again.

However, I will not be making this chicken again until the weather cools down because you crank the oven up to 500 degrees for almost an hour to make it.

I think it's kind of an internet sensation right now, sheet-pan chicken, and for all good reasons.  When it's not so stinkin' hot, I will be looking for variations because this will go into heavy rotation in the winter at my house.

Simple Sheet-Pan Chicken and Veg
--1 chicken thigh per person, bone-in and skin on
--assorted vegetables that take well to roasting - root veg as well as onions, broccoli, green beans
--salt, pepper, some dried rosemary (optional)

Prepping the Pan:
I made 5 thighs on a half-sheet pan (13x18 rimmed baking sheet) with a crowded single layer of vegetables underneath.  It's important to have the veg crowded together so they don't burn to a crisp, but also important to have a single layer so they can be caramelized (yes! yum!) in spots. So, size your pan according to how many veggies you want to use.
You can line it with heavy-duty foil if you want even less clean up (regular foil just peels up with the veggies when you try to serve them - you can learn from my experience!).  I didn't line it with foil the second time and the clean-up was still very easy as long as you're willing to break out a Brillo pad.

Cut veggies into large bite-sized pieces.  Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and some dried rosemary if you wish, and spread in single, thick layer on rimmed baking sheet.
Lay the chicken thighs skin side down on the veg.  Sprinkle each one generously with salt.  Flip the thighs over, peel back the skin, and salt the thighs generously UNDER the skin.  Pull the skin back into place.  Pat the skin dry with a paper towel or old kitchen towel. This will make amazingly crispy skin.
Bake the chicken and veggies at 500F for 50 minutes.  No need to stir, check, or bother for that whole baking time.  Serve hot.  We like a side of coleslaw or something vinegary on the side.  Shown here was steamed asparagus with lemon juice.


Hazel said...

I love traybakes for just the reasons you said. I use sausages sometimes, or a Nigella Lawson one is very good- onions (I think off the top of my head), unpeeled garlic cloves, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peppers and halloumi cheese slices laid on at the end. I serve it with a salad.

Anissa M said...

A book to look for at your library: Sheet Pan Suppers by Molly Gilbert!
An entire cookbook of ideas of cooking whole meals on sheet pans. Excellent! One-"pot" meals!

e said...

I love this method! I typically bake a couple of chicken breasts, a butternut squash and maybe some broccoli all on the same sheet pan. So easy! But, since I don't do the crispy skin, I can bake it at 400f for an hour. Still too hot for summer, but as you say, it makes a wonderful fall and winter dinner.

Tammy said...

I love making roasted veggies in the cooler months! And have done so with chicken too! One of the seasoning combinations I love for roasted chicken is salt and pepper and smoked paprika. Soooo yummy.

When I roast vegetables/meat, I put a sheet of parchment paper on my pan. Makes clean up a breeze!

Margo said...

Tammy, smoked paprika and parchment paper - both great ideas! I use my silpats for lower temperatures and when I don't want something to brown.

Margo said...

Hazel, that combo sounds delicious. (also "traybakes" - great name)

Anissa, I will look for that book. Thank you!

Jenny said...

A lot of commenters seem to bake like this a lot, so maybe someone can help me out. I love chicken cooked this way, but the few times I've done it, the house has filled with thin, foggy smoke. Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? I'd love to hear any thoughts or hints, because my husband has banned me from cooking any meats at this temperature unless they are covered in foil, and then you don't get the crispy skin. Help??

Margo said...

Jenny, I had no smoke at all with this sheet-pan chicken, nor do I get any smoke when I bake my pizza at 500F either.
I wonder if you are using too much oil on the veggies? They just need a light coating with none pooling in the bottom.
Or is your oven running hot, so that you're really baking the chicken higher than 500? Check it with an oven thermometer - a couple bucks at a kitchen supply store or grocery store.
Are you using a rimmed baking sheet and making sure nothing is hanging over the sides, so that nothing is dripping off the pan and burning when it hits the oven floor? One time some bacon grease ran off a baking sheet in my oven and choked the house with smoke (and we had guests! so embarrassing.)

Those are my ideas right off the top of my head. I hope that helps - or someone else has some more ideas. Good luck!

Becky said...

I'm seconding the parchment paper idea.

As for the smoke, I'm wondering if there's something in the oven? Try cleaning it and see what happens. I sometimes don't always know there's something funky in the oven until I crank it up high.

Jenny said...

Thank you so much for the tips, ladies, and so promptly, too! I only have the smoke problem when I've cooked chicken, so maybe I'm too generous with the oil, and I would bet that the problem is from the oil sneaking out of the pan, also. I'm going to give it one more try, early in the morning with just a few pieces of chicken and see what happens. But I'll also give the oven a good wipe beforehand, Becky!

At least if it's early in the morning, my husband will be gone to work and not home again for a while. So if there is smoke he won't know it!

Thanks again! And I can't wait to try this!!

jenny_o said...

Looks delicious! I keep meaning to try roasted vegetables; now I can try the whole meal (but not until fall, I think!) I wonder if this could be done on a BBQ with a closed lid. The pan is large, so you couldn't use indirect heat with a regular sized BBQ, so maybe not.

Sarah Barry said...

Agreed, this is definitely a cool weather dish.


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