For the next edition of the Delaney Test Kitchen re-creation of the NYT special section on sheet-pan dinners I made the Sheet-Pan Chicken with Jammy Tomatoes and Pancetta. My kids said they even liked this one even more than the Gochujang Chicken and Roasted Vegetables. That is saying a lot.
As with all sheet-pan meals, this was super easy. But I did stray from the original recipe a bit to make sure my crew would eat it.
Here are the changes I made:
1. Instead of chicken thighs, I used chicken breasts. But I did not reduce the cooking time.
2. Instead of 2oz of pancetta, I used 4oz. The package was 4oz, and I didn’t have anything else to use it with, so I threw it in. And I am so glad I did – I think this was a big reason why the tray was devoured.
3. For the fresh spices at the end, I used both dill and parsley.
4. I used way more garlic - maybe another Tbsp of freshly grated in the marinade. Yum.
4. I served this with a side of Jasmine Rice.
One other change I made - for my guys I I had to rebrand it as Sheet-pan Garlic Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes. It was much more appetizing to them. With the original name they were like, "what is it??"
Here is the recipe for Sheet-Pan Garlic Roasted Chicken with Tomatoes, aka:
Sheet-Pan Chicken with Jammy Tomatoes and Pancetta
· 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
· ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
· 9 whole unpeeled garlic cloves
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
· 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
· 1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
· 1 teaspoon dried oregano
· 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
· ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
· 1 pint cherry tomatoes (preferably different colors), halved
· 2 ounces diced pancetta or bacon
· ¼ cup torn fresh dill, parsley or other herbs, for serving
· Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Season chicken all over with salt, and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Smash all the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and peel them. Finely grate one garlic clove and put it in a small bowl. Stir in the 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, paprika, oregano, brown sugar (if using) and cumin. Pour over chicken, tossing to coat.
Add tomatoes and remaining smashed, peeled garlic cloves to baking sheet, spreading them out around the chicken. Season tomatoes lightly with salt and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Scatter pancetta on top.
Roast until chicken is golden and cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. After 15 minutes, stir the tomatoes and pancetta, but don’t disturb the chicken.
Transfer chicken to plates. Stir the tomatoes and pancetta around in the pan, scraping up all the delicious browned bits from the bottom and sides, and stir in the herbs and black pepper to taste. Taste and add salt, if needed, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if you like. Spoon tomatoes, garlic and pancetta over the chicken to serve.
For the second test kitchen trial of the NYT’s special sheet-pan dinner section from February 2021, we tried the Sheet-Pan Sausages and Brussels Sprouts with Honey Mustard. And it was a huge win. I did not vary from the recipe as is except that I chose not use add the options yellow mustard seeds or chopped nuts. But I did use hot Italian Sausage, and that gave it a nice kick along with the mustard flavor. I think without that it may have been a little too bland. I served them with mashed potatoes to make sure my little athletes also got the carbs that they need. I encourage you to add it to your busy weeknight meal rotation, too!
Here’s the recipe as I used it:
Sheet-pan Sausages and Brussels Sprouts with Honey Mustard
· 1 pound fresh sausage, such as sweet or hot Italian, or bratwurst
· 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
· 1 pound small potatoes, like baby Yukon gold or red potatoes, halved
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
· Kosher salt and black pepper
· 4 teaspoons honey
· 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees, and place a sheet pan in the oven. Score the sausages in a few places on both sides, making sure not to cut all the way through. Transfer to a large bowl with the brussels sprouts, potatoes and 2 tablespoons olive oil, and stir until coated. (If the mixture seems dry, add a little more oil.) Season with salt and pepper.
2. Spread the mixture in an even layer on the heated baking sheet, and arrange the vegetables cut-sides down. Roast 15 minutes, until the brussels sprouts and potatoes start to soften. (The sausages will not be cooked through yet.)
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the honey, and mustard.
4. Drizzle the honey mustard over the sausages and vegetables, and toss or shake to coat. Flip the sausages. Roast until the sausages are cooked through and the vegetables are golden and tender, another 10 minutes or so. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
As a working mom with kids who play multiple sports, the evenings are really tight on time to make a good, nutritious dinner. Especially one that some picky eaters will eat. The best solution? Sheet-Pan Dinners. I have a couple of them that are my go-to meals, like the Lemon Chicken Sheet-Pan Dinner that I posted earlier.
But the New York Times Cooking did an entire special section called “Sheet Pan Everything” on 2/28/21 and I am obsessed. The Delaney Test Kitchen has started trying them out for you. I’m not going to make all of the recipes in the section because I know my boys won’t at all of it, but there are some serious contenders to add to the regular rotation.
The first one we tried was Sheet-Pan Gochujang Chicken and Roasted Vegetables. I knew my guys would love this, because they love everything I make with Gochujang. And I think they may have accidentally enjoyed the roasted acorn squash too.
Here’s the recipe:
Sheet-Pan Gochujang Chicken and Roasted Vegetables
Makes 4-6 servings
· 3 tablespoons gochujang
· 2 tablespoons soy sauce
· 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
· 3 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or canola, plus more for drizzling
· 2 pounds squash, such as butternut, acorn or delicata, unpeeled, seeded and cut into...
· 1 pound turnips, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 3 1/2 loose cups)
· 10 scallions, ends trimmed, green and white parts separated, but not chopped
· Kosher salt
· 2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, drumsticks or breasts, patted dry
· 1 bunch radishes (about 10 ounces), trimmed
· 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
· 1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
· Steamed rice (optional)
TIP: Instead of squash, you can use the same amount of other root vegetables like carrots, potatoes and beets, or lighter vegetables like cauliflower, brussels sprouts or broccoli.
1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the gochujang, soy sauce, ginger and 3 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl or resealable bag. Add the squash, turnips and scallion whites, toss to coat with glaze, or seal bag and shake to coat. Lightly season with salt and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Season the chicken with salt and toss to coat in whatever is left of the glaze in the bowl or bag. Arrange the chicken pieces skin-side up between the vegetables on the sheet.
2. Roast until vegetables are tender, chicken is cooked through and the skin crispy and browned in spots, about 40 minutes.
3. While the chicken cooks, thinly slice the scallion greens. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, cut the radishes into thin rounds. In a small bowl, toss the sliced scallion greens and radishes with the rice vinegar and sesame oil, if using. Season to taste with salt and set aside to lightly pickle.
4. Top the roast chicken and vegetables with the quick-pickled scallion-radish mix and transfer to serving plates. Serve with steamed rice, if desired.
Kris Delaney is a marketing executive, foodie, travel enthusiast, and book nerd based in Atlanta, GA.