Sheet pan dinners have become a hot trend recently because they’re a revision of easy, one-dish cooking. Toss your favorite combination of fresh vegetables and a protein on a heavy sheet pan and pop it in the oven until done. Like slow cookers and cast-iron pots, a sheet pan can get you through dinner with minimal prep and easy clean-up. What’s really cool about them is that rather than slow-cooking or braising, you roast your ingredients on a high temperature, achieving deep flavor, notable texture and beautiful color.
Sheet pan meals are right up my alley right now, since this is the time of year when I feel most burned out. The last month of the school calendar is packed with homework, standardized tests, classroom obligations and summer planning. Gone are holidays to hide behind. I also feel the pressure to get as much work done as possible in order to take time off over the summer. The weeknight kitchen creativity that has sustained me since school started is quickly slipping away. I need something simple, and this is it.
In this particular sheet pan dish, I’ve combined bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with fresh summer squash and red-skinned potatoes, both of which were grown by Fekete Farms in Hungarian Settlement. I picked them up from the Red Stick Farmers Market. Set off with fresh tarragon from my kitchen garden, it’s a lovely weeknight dinner.
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
4 cups yellow summer squash, cut across into 1-inch pieces
4 cups new potatoes, cut into small dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pat the chicken thighs dry, and place on a large platter. Sprinkle with a liberal coating of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper on both sides, then douse generously with Worcestershire sauce. Cover and let marinate in a refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a heavy sheet pan with parchment paper, aluminum foil or spray with wax paper. In a large bowl, toss the squash and potatoes with olive oil. Pour them onto the prepared pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Position the chicken thighs on the pan with vegetables. Roast for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are brown and the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees. Top with fresh tarragon, oregano or basil, and serve.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor and author of the food history book, Hungry for Louisiana, An Omnivore’s Journey. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.