If you're feeling grateful for spring and eager to put fresh spring vegetables on your table, pull out your favorite sheet pan and make this simple supper.
Start with new potatoes, super-sweet onions, sliced lemons, and aromatic sprigs of lemon thyme. Roast them all together on your sheet pan until they’re tender, then add the chicken pieces. Continue roasting, and wait until everything is close to done before scattering the asparagus all around the pan.
It’s a clever way of making an entire meal at once, and you don’t even need a sauce because you’ll have chicken juices in the pan to spoon over the meat. Your trusty sheet pan does it again!
My sheet pan gets just as big of a workout as my favorite chef’s knife in my kitchen. In fact, most of the time, I pull out my sheet pan even before pulling out my knife because I know it will come in handy for something, even if it’s only as a tray to carry supper to the table!
The sheet pan I use most often are about the same size as a jelly roll pan – 11-by-17-inches – and it has stiff rolled edges. I think the aluminum pans are better than the nonstick because food on aluminum browns more.
Sheet Pan Chicken with Asparagus and Potatoes
- If you can't find the chicken parts called for in this recipe, you can buy a whole chicken and cut it into parts yourself (or ask a butcher to do it for you).
If you don't have fresh herbs, you can substitute dried thyme. Use 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme with the vegetables and 1/2 teaspoon sprinkled over the chicken.
- 16 small new potatoes (red or golden), halved
- 3 small sweet onions (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla), quartered through the roots; or 1 large super sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1 medium lemon, very thinly sliced
- Large handful fresh lemon thyme or other fresh herb (oregano, marjoram, or thyme).
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
- 2 large bone-in chicken breast halves (1 1/2 pounds, 680 g)
- 2 whole chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks attached; or 2 legs and 2 drumsticks (1/2 pounds, 227 g)
- 1 bunch (1 pound) fresh asparagus
- Special equipment:
- Sheet pan, at least 11-by-17 inches or larger
Prepare the vegetables for roasting:
Heat the oven to 375F. In a bowl, combine the new potatoes, onions, lemon, a few of the herb sprigs, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and half the salt and pepper. Toss well and spread on a rimmed baking sheet.
Roast the vegetables for 40 minutes:
or until the potatoes are almost tender when pierced with a skewer.
Prepare the chicken:
While the vegetables roast, sprinkle the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, and the remaining salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from several thyme springs and scatter them on the chicken.
Add the chicken to the vegetables and roast:
Move the vegetables in the pan aside to make room for the chicken. Set the chicken in the pan, skin side up, so it isn’t sitting on vegetables. Continue cooking for 30 minutes.
Prepare the asparagus:
Snap the spears near the base, where they break without much effort. Cut the spears in half to make shorter lengths. In a bowl, toss the asparagus with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.
Add the asparagus and roast:
After the chicken has been roasting for 30 minutes, pull out the sheet pan and scatter the asparagus around the chicken.
Continue roasting for 10 to 20 minutes:
or until the chicken pieces all register at least 165°F in the thickest part of the meat on an instant-read thermometer (the thighs will cook slightly faster than the breasts; you can pull them off the sheet pan as they reach temperature and keep them on a plate covered with foil, if you like).
All of the vegetables should also be cooked through. (Total cooking time is roughly 1 1/2 hours.)
If your chicken isn’t brown enough, slide the pan under the broiler for 2 minutes, watching it carefully to avoid burning.
To serve the chicken:
Discard the cooked thyme sprigs. Use kitchen shears to separate the legs to form 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs. Snip the breasts in half horizontally.
Arrange the chicken and vegetables on a platter. Remove the thyme from the remaining fresh sprigs and sprinkle it over the chicken.