This month’s Sheet Pan Supper hits all the buttons.
It’s tasty, pretty, and healthy: chicken thighs covered in lemon slices, artichoke hearts, wedges of sweet red onion, bites of Yukon Gold potatoes, thick slices of zucchini, and sprigs of fresh thyme. It sparks joy.
Sheet pan recipes are all about getting dinner on the table fast, so there’s no time to devote to a long period of marinating the meat. To get around that, start the recipe by mixing the olive oil, seasonings, artichokes, and chicken in a bowl, and set them aside while you wash and chop the vegetables. The chicken will achieve a good flavor in short order.
McCormick’s California Style Garlic Pepper is one of the ways I push the easy button when it comes to seasoning food for roasting. I especially love it in my make-ahead recipe for Everyday Salad Dressing that doubles as a marinade for most varieties of meat and fish.
I use either bone-in or boneless, skinless thighs depending on what I have on hand. To keep the meat moist while it cooks, place a slice of lemon over each thigh.
The first few times I made this, I used frozen artichokes. Some store brands of artichokes left a heavy preservative aftertaste in my mouth. I switched to canned or jarred varieties and found them more flavorful. If using frozen, Trader Joe’s brand has the best flavor of the four brands I tested.
I used dried thyme in the marinade and fresh from my garden for the garnish. When substituting fresh herbs for dried in a recipe, the rule of thumb is to use three times as much of the fresh as called for of the dried.
You can change up the Yukon Golds to colorful fingerling potatoes and get a whole new color palette using the same recipe.
Roasted Lemon Chicken, Potatoes, Zucchini, and Artichokes
Yield: Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes Roasting time: 45 minutes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons McCormick’s California Style Garlic Pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, more for garnish
1 large lemon
1 pound boneless chicken thighs, or 4 bone-in thighs
1 (8½ ounce) can whole artichoke hearts packed in water, cut in half
½ pound red onion, cut into wedges
1 pound zucchini squash, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch slices
1½ pounds Yukon Gold, or colorful waxy potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1½-inch chunks
Preheat oven to 400º. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
Prepare marinade: Pour olive oil, salt, garlic pepper, thyme, lemon zest, and sliced lemons into a large mixing bowl. I use a Microplane grater to zest the lemon. Remove pithy ends and seeds from the lemon and cut it into four slices, one to cover each piece of chicken.
Prepare chicken: Trim fat and skin (if using bone-in thighs). I ended up pulling off the skin so the lemon slices could impart their citrusy flavor directly onto the thigh meat. Add chicken to marinade and toss until well coated.
Prepare artichokes: Cut artichokes in half. Add to marinating chicken. Set chicken and artichokes aside to marinate while you prep the other vegetables.
Prepare onions, zucchini, and potatoes as noted. Add vegetables to the bowl of marinating chicken and mix until everything is well coated.
Spread ingredients onto the sheet pan. The pan will be crowded, but everything will become tender when it cooks.
Roast for 45-60 minutes. No need to stir. I have cooked this at 425º with good results, too—the vegetables brown a little more and the lemon slices cook enough to become edible.