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I grew up eating fried chicken. My dad may have made the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten. Perhaps it wasn’t the best fried chicken on earth, but it’s best I’ve ever had and it was made in the largest, deepest cast iron skillet in the kitchen. (Someone in my family must have that pan?)  So you know how we strain fat and refrigerate it (if we deep fry very often, which I don’t) for safety reasons? That never happened at my house. That fat went back into a (then) metal Crisco can and into the cupboard.  Don’t try this now; Crisco cans are made of cardboard.  Even bacon fat sat out. Mayonnaise, too. No joke. I don’t think we were ever ill either. Witness what Dave calls Alyce’s cast-iron stomach.

Today I cook fried chicken literally once in a blue moon. I mostly roast or grill chicken and you will rarely see me cooking boneless chicken breasts as they so often are over-sized, tasteless, and expensive.  Give me real (bone-in) chicken any day because #1: it tastes like chicken, and # 2, creates great leftovers–including chicken stock if you’ve got the time.  If I’m not making a whole chicken though, I’m making chicken thighs.

And for quick meals, even soups, I’m sold on boneless chicken thighs; they’re the tastiest piece of the chicken, too. My mother would say,  “I like the breast and all the rest.” I’m more an “all the rest” girl. The breast is for chicken salad, sandwiches, tacos, or my sister Helen.

Here we are in Hawaii together getting photobombed from both sides.

Lately I’m trying a bunch of different sheet pan dinners and will be teaching a sheet pan class in May sometime. I need a date pretty soon for that. Some of them will be chicken sheet pan dinners.  I’ll keep you posted.  Until then, channel your inner summer cook and stir up a little barbecued chicken in the oven. With bacon. Try this and give me a little feedback. Should it go in the class booklet?

Read through recipe first or scroll down for SHORT VERSION. This is really simple.

SHEET PAN: BBQ-BACON CHICKEN THIGHS WITH CHEESY BROCCOLI-POTATOES

4 servings, which leaves 2 extra thighs for hungrier eaters or for leftovers

POTATOES:

  • 1 pound small new potatoes, cut in half or into about 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

CHICKEN:

  • 6 boneless, skin-less chicken thighs–approximately 2 pounds
  • 6 slices bacon (thin variety works well here)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil

BROCCOLI:

  • 1 pound broccoli, well-trimmed, and cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

ALSO NEEDED:

  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated very sharp Cheddar cheese (a bit more than 1/2 ounce)

Preheat oven to 425 and line two rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper or aluminum boil.  Place two oven racks into oven so that the oven is divided into thirds.

POTATOES: In a large mixing bowl, toss together very well all of the ingredients for the potatoes and turn out in an even layer onto half of one of the sheet pans, leaving other half of the sheet pan for chicken.

CHICKEN:  Lightly oil the second empty half of the sheet pan. Wrap each chicken thigh in a piece of bacon and secure with two toothpicks. Lay the chicken onto the oiled half of the pan, leaving space between each, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and drizzle very lightly with olive oil.

Place sheet pan on the bottom rack of the oven to roast for 20 minutes.

BROCCOLI:  While chicken and potatoes roast, add broccoli florets to the mixing bowl, drizzle with the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Turn out onto the second lined sheet pan and spread out evenly.

Remove chicken and potato sheet pan from oven and brush well with barbecue sauce.  Put the sheet pan back in the oven, this time on the top rack.

Place sheet pan with broccoli on the bottom rack. Roast another 13-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, chicken is done through (165 degrees Fahrenheit and/or juices run clear when the thighs are cut) and broccoli is tender-crisp or to your liking. Let chicken rest briefly while you…

Turn out the potatoes and broccoli into the large mixing bowl and sprinkle with the grated cheese; toss well.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Divide cheesy broccoli potatoes between 4 plates and add a hot chicken thigh (or two for a hungrier eater) to each. Serve hot, reminding diners that each thigh has two toothpicks in it!

Leftovers keep up to 3 days:  Preheat oven to 350. Place leftovers in a greased casserole dish and cover tightly with foil. Heat until very hot and bubbly– 15 – 20 minutes.

SHORT VERSION Oven 425 F. Oil and season up potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces and boneless chicken thighs wrapped in bacon. Put on one sheet pan (half on one side and half on the other) and roast for 20 minutes. Brush chicken with bbq sauce; continue cooking another 15 min or so. At same time, add another pan of oiled and seasoned broccoli florets to roast. Remove at 35 min–check that chicken is done through and potatoes are tender. Serve hot.

{printable recipe}

If you like this, you might like my

One-Pan Chicken and Brussels Sprouts

Sing a new song,

Alyce