Toss your entire dinner on one pan for easy Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Baby Artichokes and Carrots for a meal that will feed the entire family!
Last weekend I did something that I didn’t think my city dwelling self was ever going to do – well at least not for another 10 or 15 years.
My husband and I went out and bought a car.
Between the two of us we haven’t owned a car in over 15 years, probably more for him. As soon as I graduated college in 2003 and moved back home to NY my car immediately died on me. Luckily it wasn’t that big of a deal, I already had plans to move into Manhattan with two friends and any driving that needed to be done could be completed with borrowing my parents car.
Fast forward to today, in all of those years I could count the amount of times I’ve driven on one hand. I was little freaked out to get behind the wheel for the first time again. I really thought I was going to have to learn how to drive all over again. You know what? Driving is just like riding a bike, once you get on muscle memory takes over and you just know what to do. Even getting the hang of parallel parking only took a couple of tries.
Now the purpose for us getting a car simply wasn’t for joy, it was because both of our businesses are at the point that we are spending so much time on mass transit shlepping things around that we just can’t take it any more. Do you know what it’s like to carry around dozens and dozens of cookies on the subway? It’s a lot and it’s exhausting. I always knew it was tiring but I never realized how *much* that exhaustion affected me daily until I stopped doing it this week. Wow! What a difference between standing and baking for 8 hours and driving home, than doing the same and commuting home on the subway for an hour and a half carrying stuff.
I’m so looking forward to making use of all this energy, mostly it’s going to let me get back to cooking dinner for us on a regular basis. We’ve gotten into a bad habit of eating out quite frequently and it’s not always great meals. A lot of pizza, burgers and Mexican food has entered our lives. It’s quick and easy and can be delivered after a long day but certainly not nutritious.
My body has been craving vegetables and the easiest way I like to take them in is with a sheet pan meal. This meal has it all protein, two types of vegetables and for good measure a handful of roasted baby potatoes. Is it a 30 minute meal? Not exactly, but it is mostly hands off during the duration of the cooking process. I love using artichokes but they take just a little bit of prep time. Baby artichokes are the easiest to use because they have no choke in the center. All you need to do is peel away the tough outer leaves until you reach the tender insides, peel the stem, cut in half and roast away.
While any roasted vegetable, potato and crispy chicken is good enough on its own, I was feeling like this needed some sort of sauce or pop of color. I made use of the gorgeous carrot tops with a quick carrot top pesto. Totally your choice for adding it on or not but I think it’s worth the extra effort.
- 2lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 thighs)
- 6-8 baby artichokes, trimmed (see notes) and halved or quartered
- 1 bunch rainbow carrots + their tops
- 1lb baby potatoes, halved
- 2 lemons
- kosher salt + black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup wash carrot tops
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper and arrange on a rimmed half size baking sheet.
- After trimming your baby artichokes (see notes for how-to), remove from the water, pat dry and arrange on the baking sheet around the chicken thighs.
- Next place the halved baby potatoes on the baking sheet. Season all around with salt and pepper and drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over everything.
- Roast for about 30 minutes and then remove from the oven.
- Remove the carrot tops from the bunch of carrots, give a good wash and only peel if they seem extremely dirty, if not cut in half lengthwise and arrange on baking sheet around the vegetables and chicken and place back in the oven for another 30 minutes to finish roasting.
- During this time prepare the carrot top hummus. Rinse and dry the carrot tops and place in a food processor with the pine nuts, lemon juice and garlic.
- Pulse until everything is broken up into small pieces.
- With the motor running drizzle the oil from the top until the pesto is nice and smooth. If necessary add more olive oil to the pesto.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- After the last 30 minutes of cook time remove the sheet pan from the oven, the chicken should be cooked through and have crispy skin, as well as the artichokes and potatoes. Let cool for about 10 minutes before plating and serving with the pesto on the side and lemon wedges.
How to trim baby artichokes: Unlike large artichoke hearts there is no fuzzy choke in the center. Begin with setting up a cold water bath with the juice of two lemons to prevent the cut artichokes from browning. Peel the stem with a vegetable peeler and then using your hand peel away the outer leaves until you reach the tender and pale inner leaves. Stop there and cut in half with a sharp knife. If the artichoke is fairly large cut into quarters and place in the water bath until ready to use.
Chicken and roasted vegetables are two of my favorite things. I love all in one meals like this. Thanks for the idea!