Sheet pan dinners were all the rage over the last few years and for good reason: a whole meal comes together using one pan and cooks at the same time with little effort from the cook.
This recipe amps up traditional roast chicken by marinating it in buttermilk and spicy harissa (homemade or store-bought, it’s up to you!) and adding potatoes and leeks to the pan. Roast until golden-brown perfection. Finish it with a mix of fresh herbs, tangy yogurt and a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper flakes for a fruity, spicy finish. All of these elements combine to give you a meat-and-potatoes meal that is bright and doesn’t feel too heavy.
As Melissa Clark tells us in her awesome cookbook (also where this recipe originates), Dinner: Changing the Game, the most important aspect of a successful sheet pan dinner is ensuring the ingredients require the same cooking time. Sure, you could add things at different stages, but that kinda defeats the whole purpose of the one-stop assembly of these kinds of meals. Also, don’t crowd your pan! If you’re making more than four servings, please please use another sheet pan.
Okay, so actually I’m going to break my own rule here: you will have to give the potatoes a toss halfway through and add the leeks, but one quick extra step won’t hurt anyone, right? Especially when the reward is perfectly cooked potatoes and tender, NOT-BURNT leeks.
Buttermilk-and-harissa (homemade or store-bought, it’s up to you!) marinated roast chicken with potatoes and leeks, and finished with a mix of fresh herbs, tangy yogurt and a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper flakes for a fruity, spicy finish!
- 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs, drumsticks)
- 1-1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons Harissa, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 leeks, white and green parts only, trimmed and halved lengthwise, rinsed, and thinly sliced into half-moons
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
- 2 tablespoons crème fraiche or sour cream
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 cup mixed soft fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, cilantro, and/or mint
- Aleppo pepper flakes, if desired
- Combine the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon Harissa, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium mixing bowl. Add all the chicken pieces, turning to coat in the marinade. Marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, 1 remaining tablespoon harissa, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chopped potatoes and toss to coat.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, allowing the excess to drip off. Pat dry with paper towels (it’s okay if some of the marinade is still on the chicken). Place the chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet. Pour the potatoes around the chicken in a single layer. Pour any olive oil mixture remaining in the bowl over the chicken and potatoes. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the leeks to the baking sheet. Season with additional salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes and leeks gently to combine. Roast for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the chicken skin is golden brown.
- Combine the yogurt, crème fraiche, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Grate the garlic over the mixture and stir to combine.
- Spoon the yogurt mixture over the chicken and vegetables. Scatter the herbs over top and squeeze the lemon juice all over. Sprinkle the Aleppo pepper on top, if using.
Inspiration: Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt from Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark