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Easy Sheet Pan Chicken for Spring

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

I love it when a recipe is deceptively simple and tastes like more than the sum of it's parts. This recipe from Melissa Clark is one of those and it's an easy, delicious solution for a springtime dinner that has minimal clean up. It requires some time, so it's a better option for an easy weekend meal, or if you're better organized than I am, you could marinate the chicken and make the yogurt dressing the night before. If you want to feel like your own superhero, you could double the recipe on the weekend, spread it out over 2 sheet pans, and add some extra veg like broccoli or asparagus, and have delicious leftovers during the week.

Depending on where you are on the spectrum of health eating, there is some room for making this dinner a bit healthier. Here are my tips:

  • If you don't mind adding one more bowl for clean up, add more veg by steaming some broccoli or even frozen veg in the microwave towards the end of the cooking time. To keep it simple, you could just add some broccoli to the pans when you add the leeks.

  • There is a lot of olive oil in this recipe, but most of it will be left behind from the marinade, and you can skip the extra olive oil in the last step.

  • Remove the skin from the chicken when it's time to eat. That way, you can make your dinner even healthier without forcing everyone else to - because you probably have gotten an eye roll or two over the mention of "eating healthier" to your loved ones

  • If you or your family prefers white meat, you could use bone-in skin-on breasts. If you're a daredevil, you could try boneless and skinless breasts, but you would need to reduce the cooking time and I suspect the whole meal would not be as delicious. The spice level may need to be adjusted too, as the marinade will be in direct contact with the meat.

  • Speaking of spice, we didn't find this had too much spiciness at our house, but if you're particularly sensitive to spice, you may want to start off with a bit less. Ditto if you you're going to skip the yogurt dressing, as it balances the heat.

  • If you're cooking with leftovers in mind, keep the greens separate in the last step.

  • Don’t ignore the advice to spread chicken and potatoes in a single layer. Better to spread things out if you've increased the recipe volume so that everything cooks.

  • For additional flavor, add juice from half of the lemon to the dressing, and brighten your whole plate at the end with another squeeze.

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