|Martha Stewart: Sheet Pan Expert|
For some time I’ve been intrigued by the concept of the Sheet Pan dinner. Basically all the ingredients—protein, vegetables, herbs and spices–are cooked on one large sheet pan. Martha Stewart seems to be an expert in this regard. She frequently posts all kinds of options. There seems to be no end to what ingredients she’s managed to load onto one of these workhorse’s of the kitchen. From Fish to Pork to Rib Eye, there’s no stopping Martha. So I decided to cook one myself. I adapted a recipe of mine for Lemon Chicken. I added fingerling potatoes to the mix so in the end all I had to add to dinner were some sautéed green beans. What I discovered was one of the best and most economical ways to entertain ever. I honestly don’t think this dinner cost more $30. And we fed 14 people with it and there were leftovers! This is ideal for people on a budget, for recent grads who are neophytes in the kitchen and for people who just want to have a lot or people over without breaking the bank this holiday season. It all comes together in an hour and fifteen minutes.
|Use this diagram to cut a chicken in 10 pieces|
Martha recommends using a non-stick sheet pan. I found that my ordinary sheet pan and heavy duty Reynold’s Wrap achieved the same effect: Lessening the clean-up. This is an expandable recipe. You can scale it up or down to whatever quantities you need. If you follow this recipe to a Tee, you will also need a second sheet so be prepared. I used 3 whole chickens. These 3-3-1/2 lb. birds I then cut into 10 pieces. Cutting up your own chicken is the most cost-conscious way to make this dish. The chicken ran 1.39 a lb. and the three of them cost all of $12 and change. However, feel free to spring for three cut-up chickens, if butchering chicken is not your idea of fun. You can even go for just thighs and breasts. But for purposes of this recipe – that is feeding 12 to 14 people– stick to the weight of the chicken in the recipe whatever parts you choose to use.
The way to achieve as much flavor as possible is to really go all out with the quantities of lemon, garlic and herbs. It may seem that a head of garlic, sliced, is an outrageous amount, but it’s not. Similarly, the lemons seem out of line but the entire recipe hinges on getting a really lemon-y chicken at the end. Cooking the potatoes under and around the chicken gives them a lot of chicken and lemon flavor too. All in all, I can’t say enough good things about this recipe. Do share it with your college grad or grad student or whoever you think can use it. Here is the recipe:
Recipe for Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken with Fingerling Potatoes.
Takes 1 hour 15 mins to make. 1 Additional hour to marinate the chicken. Serves 12 – 14. This recipe will require two 18 x 13 sheet pans.
1 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and sliced thin,
3 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
3 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
8 lemons, 2 juiced, 6 sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Fresh cracked black pepper
3 whole 3- 3 ½ lb. Chickens, cut into 8 pieces each.
Or 10 lbs. bone-in, skin on chicken thighs, breasts and/or legs.
2 large onions, sliced
6 pounds Fingerling Potatoes, whole, or baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved (or quartered if larger)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
Place the chicken pieces in large zipper top plastic bags. Pour marinade over the chicken, and close the bags. Mix the chicken in the bags to make sure it is all covered with the marinade. Place the bags on the counter, turning occasionally for an hour.
Drizzle olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and scatter the potatoes and onions on, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and onions. Tuck the lemon slices in between potatoes, chicken and onions. Pour remaining marinade across the chicken.
Put the baking sheets in the pre-heated oven and bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until a thermometer plunged into the chicken registers 165 F. Believe it or not, there’s no need to turn the chicken during its cooking time.
Once the chicken is cooked through, if you want the skin darker and crisper, place baking sheet under a high broiler for just a few minutes, until the skin has crisped up. Do not leave the chicken unattended or it make well burn.
To serve, I like to put the chicken in the center of a large platter and then surround it with the potatoes and lemon slices. A sprinkle of parsley will brighten the look of the dish.