Sheet pan cooking promises a flavorful dish | TheUnion.com

Sheet pan cooking promises a flavorful dish

Lynda Balslev
Special to The Union
Caption 01: Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood
Photo by Lynda Balslev for Tastefood

There are one-pan dinners, and there are sheet-pan dinners. They both make sense. By limiting the cooking action to a single pan, there is less to wash up, which is a definite bonus at the end of a long day. But there’s a more important advantage: One-pan cooking ensures that every ingredient mingles together during the cooking process, sharing the spices and flavorings while contributing to the pan juices, which, in turn, promises a very tasty and comforting dish.

I’ve prepared this recipe in various iterations for years. It was originally inspired by a Bon Appetit recipe, and since then I’ve tweaked and improvised it along the way. The key method remains the same — which is that the whole lot is spread on a rimmed baking sheet at once, coated in a spicy garlic-infused oil, and then banished to the oven for just enough time to thoroughly cook the chicken. During the cooking process, the tomatoes cook down to a juicy sludge and melt into the pan juices, while the nubby chickpeas enjoy a bath in the fragrant sauce.

Before you know it — voila — you have a fragrant, saucy chicken dinner, ready in about 40 minutes, while most of that time is hands-off oven time. The flavorful sauce is the best part to this dish, so I serve the chicken over a bed of couscous to capture every drop, and serve the finished dish with a cooling dollop of spiced yogurt.

Sheet Pan Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Chickpeas

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro and/or mint

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon cayenne or piment d’Espelette

Salt

4 large boneless chicken breasts, with skin, 6 to 8 ounces each

1 pound grape tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Yogurt Sauce:

1 cup Greek whole milk yogurt

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 small garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne or piment d’Espelette

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Whisk the oil, garlic, cilantro, paprika, cumin, zest, cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Arrange the chicken, skin-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub half of the oil all over the chicken pieces, between the skin and meat, and lightly season with additional salt.

Add the tomatoes and chickpeas to the bowl with the remaining oil and turn to coat. Spread on the cooking sheet around the chicken. Transfer to the oven and roast until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat.

While the chicken is roasting, whisk the yogurt sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Arrange the chicken on serving plates, with couscous if desired. Garnish with fresh mint or cilantro and serve with the yogurt sauce.


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