Sheet-pan chicken recipe makes dinner a breeze

Leah Eskin
Chicago Tribune

Sheet pan, meet spotlight.

Sure, you’ve spent your career quietly cradling cookies, crisping potatoes and catching drips. It’s true that no one suspends you from a showy rack, like the saucier. No one burnishes you bright, like the copper bowl. No one lets you linger on the island, like the mortar and pestle, simply for the pleasure of your profile. You live in a shallow drawer. You’re embarrassed by those crusted corners that can’t come clean. You’re low-profile.

You deserve it. After all, you’ve got the biggest footprint in the kitchen. What other piece of cookware can hoist a whole meal — chicken to fixings — solo? And, because you toil in the oven — that hot, hidden, hands-off zone — you free the cook to do something else — such as kick back and admire your handsome, hardworking habits.

Sheet-pan Supper

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 45 minutes

Makes: 3 servings

2 lemons

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for pan

1 cup pitted olives, spicy or not

8 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 2 sprigs fresh thyme

6 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), bone-in, skin-on

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Quarter: Slice points off lemons. Cut into 1/3-inch thick slices. Quarter each slice. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, olives, garlic and thyme.

Toss: Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Toss chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus the salt and pepper. Spread out chicken, skin-side down, on the pan.

Roast: Slide into a 425-degree oven and let roast 25 minutes. Scatter on the lemon and olives mixture. Continue roasting until chicken skin is crispy brown and flesh is tender and reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes more.