Baked chicken and potatoes are the essence of comfort food for me. When you combine them with garlic, lemon, and olives, I'm beyond comforted … I'm downright giddy! And when I can have all of that on a sheet pan that gets baked in the oven while I putter with side dishes or just settle down with a glass of wine, I'm in heaven.
There's a reason sheet pan cooking is so popular. There's something lovely about putting the basics of your dinner on a pan and baking them until you're ready to eat. It's not exactly fast — many such dishes take the better part of an hour to make — but it is simple. And it builds most of the time into the oven, leaving you free to use that time for other things. But during the summer, I am far more likely to opt for foil packet cooking on the grill to keep my kitchen cool. But now that October's here, it's the perfect time to break out the good sheet pans and fill them with what brings you joy. For me, that's chicken and tater with the flavors of the Mediterranean!
Sheet pan dinners can usually be a meal unto themselves and this is the case here too. However, no one is going to hate it if you whip up some cucumber salad and have warm pita or other bread on hand to sop up any juices when dinner is served. With about 45 minutes of baking time, you can whip those up and still have time to sit down and relax a bit before dinner's on the table. Boy, autumn is going to be great!
- 4 to 5 chicken thighs - bone in, skin on
- Salt and pepper
- 6-8 red potatoes (about 2 lb.) - scrubbed clean, cut into thin wedges
- 1 medium yellow onion - sliced
- 2 T. quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 10 fresh garlic cloves - minced
- 1 1/2 T. dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 lemon - sliced
- 12 pitted kalamata olives - optional
- Fresh herbs - for garnish (I used parsley and thyme)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Pat the chicken dry and season generously with salt and pepper (lift the skins and apply seasoning underneath as well).
Place the potato wedges and onions on a large sheet pan covered with a silicone baking mat (optional - but makes cleanup a breeze). Season with salt and black pepper.
In a large skillet, heat 2 T. extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken skin-side down to brown (about 5 t0 7 minutes), then flip over and sear briefly, another 3 minutes or so. Transfer the chicken from the skillet to the prepared sheet pan, nestled between the potato wedges, keeping everything in one layer.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the chicken broth with the lemon juice, minced garlic, rosemary, and nutmeg. Pour the mixture over the chicken and potatoes; lift the chicken pieces so some of the juice will flow under, and toss the potatoes until well-coated. Add lemon slices on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until the chicken and potatoes are tender. Remove from the oven and add the kalamata olives, if desired. Garnish with some fresh herbs.
- Yields: 4-6 servings
- Preparation Time: About an hour