Is there any easier way to cook than on a Sheet Pan?
Whoever invented Sheet Pan Recipes deserves a medal. There is likely no more simple way of cooking than this. All the ingredients cook at the same time in the same pan. And once the pan has gone in the oven, there’s literally nothing to do but wait. Today’s recipe is a fantastic example of the technique. It’s from Kay Chun who is now at Food & Wine Magazine. An English major, the Wellesley graduate is also a graduate of both Gourmet Magazine and Bon Appetit. Now she’s inventing recipes for everything from Tofu Masala to Monkey Bread.
Try this recipe and discover what a breeze Sheet Pan Cooking can be.
Just five ingredients go onto the pan. Big meaty chicken thighs roast on a bed of scallions and potatoes. While the chicken gets golden and crispy on top, the scallions go all sweet and tender. The potatoes under the chicken soak up the pan juices while the ones on top get crispy. To one side, I added a few rainbow carrots which caramelize beautifully next the chicken. Finally, after the dish emerges from the oven–all of 40 minutes since it went in–you add the flavor-filled drippings to some capers and citrus and you’ve made a marvelous sauce. You can either drizzle the sauce over the vegetables or use it as a dressing on a simple side salad.
Avoid these Sheet Pan problems and you’re good to go. Start with a new Sheet Pan.
There are a few perils to avoid when you cook using the Sheet Pan. They’re not at all insurmountable. They are worth fixing before you start out. Start with the Sheet Pan itself. If yours is old or thin, it may buckle in the oven. It’s not a bad idea to buy a brand new sheet pan to use specifically for Sheet Pan Cooking. Buy a heavy-gauge aluminum full-sized sheet pan 21 x 15 x 1 inch. The big sheet pan will help you avoid steaming the food instead of achieving the great flavors and browning you want.
Always protect your sheet pan when it’s in the oven.
To avoid having the ingredients stick to the bottom of the pan, unless yours is non-stick, always use aluminum foil or parchment paper. This makes clean-up a snap too. Just don’t use parchment in any recipe calling for using the broiler—it’s a fire hazard.
Consider the cooking times of each ingredient when pairing them on the Sheet Pan.
To make sure the ingredients cook evenly, consider their cooking times. Salmon will cook a lot faster than larger vegetables so cut your vegetables down in size. Today’s recipe slices potatoes rather thinly but achieves the even cooking you want. Some sheet pan recipes call for adding tender, fast cooking ingredients later in the cooking process.
Get the most flavor out of your Sheet Pan recipes.
To get all the flavor you want, season your sheet pan recipes generously. Or consider using marinades. I veered off from Kay Chun’s original recipe. There was no lemon in the house to make the Caper Sauce. There was a bottle of Kalamansi, a Philippine Lime Concentrate that added just a touched of citrusy sweetness. A little orange juice would have done much the same for the sauce.
Know your oven and cook accordingly.
To avoid uneven cooking, know your oven. If your food is more well-cooked on one side and undercooked on the other, you should rotate your sheet pan during the cooking. And if you happen to be cooking on two racks, it’s always a good idea to switch them from one rack to the other halfway through the cooking time. If you follow these tips, I can almost guarantee you’ll become a big fan of Sheet Pan Cooking. Here is the recipe followed by a couple more sheet pan wonders for Chicken.
Sheet-Pan Chicken with Potatoes, Scallions and Capers
This one-pan wonder pairs crispy chicken thighs with tender sweet scallions, potato medallions and citrusy caper sauce.
- 12 scallions, trimmed (about 1 pound)
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes (about 3 large), sliced 1/8-inch-thick (about 4 cups)
- 8 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus 4 lemon wedges for serving (optional)
- Step 1 Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place scallions in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, season potatoes with salt and pepper and toss with 2 tablespoons oil. Spread half of potatoes in a single layer over scallions. Season chicken with salt and pepper, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and place on top of the potatoes. Arrange remaining potatoes around chicken. Roast until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender and golden, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Step 2 Transfer chicken, potatoes and scallions to serving plates. Scrape remaining pan juices and drippings into a small bowl, stir in capers and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over chicken and serve with lemon wedges, if using.