Over the past year I have become a HUGE fan of sheet pan meals. They are simple to put together, clean-up is minimal if you line your pan with foil (I mean who wouldn’t line their pan with foil?!) and once you have the hang of the timing and amounts of liquid etc. there are almost infinite possibilities. I’ve even gotten my husband making the occasional dinner now. I do think that most of the chicken recipes work best with the thighs even though I otherwise am a breast meat person. The thighs retain their moisture, flavor and tenderness while allowing the chicken to cook long enough to get a wonderfully blistered skin which just cries out to be eaten. This recipe is no exception. If you are looking for a delicious and easy vegan sheet pan meal try Sheet Pan Honey(Agave) Sesame Tofu and Green Beans. We made this last night for dinner and substituted sugar snap peas for the green beans and added 8 ounces of thickly sliced Cremini or Baby Bella mushrooms. Everything cooks the same. Just add the mushrooms with the peas. If you are feeling especially lazy, use a good store-bought teriyaki sauce in place of the sauce in the recipe.
But back to Nigella Lawson’s “Traybake” chicken. If you are not in love with leeks or dill, you could probably substitute another vegetable with a similar texture like baby bok choy. The point is to make dinner easy, delicious and even fun. The chicken in this dish is amazingly moist and I defy anyone to throw out the skin instead of breaking into that crackling goodness. Go ahead – it really won’t kill you to have it once in awhile. You know you want to….
Serve the chicken with rice or some gorgeous smashed potatoes.
Nigella Lawson’s Sheet Pan Chicken, Leeks and Peas
Yield: 4-6 servings
7 cups (about 2 pounds) frozen petit pois (baby peas)
4-5 medium to large leeks trimmed and washed well, cut into 1-inch slices
3 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup dry white vermouth or other dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes or kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 small bunch dill, torn into pieces
6-8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (If they are on the large side then you only need 6)
- Heat the oven to 400° F and spill the frozen peas into a large roasting pan (Nigella says not to go smaller—measuring inside from inside rim to inside rim—than about 15 by 11 inches, and a little larger is fine), followed by the leeks, garlic, vermouth, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, and most of the dill. Toss everything together in the pan—breaking up any large clumps of the frozen peas—until well mixed.
- Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on top, then drizzle them with a little olive oil and give them a good sprinkling of salt, before roasting in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, give the peas a small stir or tamp down, so that the few that are sitting on the surface and drying out a little are submerged in the liquid. Put back in the oven for a further 30 minutes, by which time the peas and leeks will be soft, and the chicken tender and cooked through, its skin golden and crisp.
- Tear off the remaining dill fronds, and scatter over the top to serve.