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A comforting chicken dish

  • PHOTO COURTESY NEW YORK TIMES

In February 2014, this recipe showed home cooks how to prepare a complete (and comforting) meal on sheet pans. Part of my ode to the kitchen workhorse, this effortless formula for crunchy, juicy chicken also yields soft, succulent sweet potatoes and crisp-leaved, tender-stemmed broccoli raab.

They all finish roasting at more or less the same time, taking the guesswork out of how to serve everything hot.

Our original sheet-pan supper

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (2 medium potatoes)

• 2 teaspoons chopped thyme leaves, plus a small bunch of thyme sprigs

• 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard

• 4 garlic cloves

• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

• 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs or drumsticks (or a mixture), patted dry

• 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• 2/3 cup dried breadcrumbs

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling

• 1 pound broccoli raab, trimmed

• Pinch red pepper flakes

• 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

Directions:

Prepare the sweet potatoes: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch-thick slices. Reassemble the slices so they look like intact potatoes. Insert a sprig of thyme between each of the slices. Wrap each potato in two layers of foil and place on a pie tin or directly on oven rack. Bake until very tender, 60-75 minutes.

Make the mustard butter for the chicken: In a small bowl, combine the whole-grain mustard and chopped thyme leaves.

Mince two garlic cloves and stir into the bowl. Take out 1 tablespoon of the mixture; reserve. Add butter and Dijon to remaining mixture in bowl and stir to combine.

Prepare the chicken: Season chicken with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Rub mustard butter all over chicken. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Coat the chicken evenly with breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

Once the sweet potatoes have baked for a half-hour, add the pan with chicken to the oven and bake until chicken is golden and no longer pink, 35-40 minutes.

As the chicken cooks, prepare the broccoli raab: Toss raab with olive oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and WKH UHG SHSSHU ÁDNHV 6PDVK UHPDLQ- ing two garlic cloves and toss into raab. Spread on another sheet pan. Add to the oven with potatoes and chicken for the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

The broccoli raab is done when the leaves are crisp at the edges. (The chicken, sweet potatoes and broccoli raab should all come out of the oven around the same time.)

To serve, combine the reserved 1 tablespoon of mustard mixture with sour cream or yogurt in a small bowl. Serve chicken with broccoli raab and sweet potatoes on the side, dolloping the potatoes with the sour cream-mustard sauce.

Total time: 1 1/4 hours, serves 4.

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