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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Sheet pan cooking: Gochujang Chicken, Za’atar Chicken, Roast Rhubarb Chicken

Three Seasonal Recipes of the Summer
Hello there! I'm not sure there is still anyone checking this, as I have been so negligent. But I am still cooking and making discoveries every day and I want to share them with you. Unfortunately, my busy schedule and my poor work habits have stopped me from updating since Thanksgiving, which is just wrong!

As some of you know, I have been a private chef to a great family with very specific dietary needs for the past two years and I have learned so much about alternative ingredients in cooking and baking. I love a challenge! So here are three recipes which started as recipes from the New York Times recipe website which I have modified and—I think—improved. I love the idea of throwing everything on a sheet pan, popping it into a hot oven, and—like magic—dinner is ready!

Great in theory, but the reality is different ingredients take different amounts of time. So you're better off staggering when you add each ingredient and have them all finish at the same time. That being said, once you have a good understanding of how things cook, you can get really creative. (BTW, I could not find my photos of these dishes so you get a pic of this weird tattooed bunny mannequin instead. I am full of sheet!)

Gochujang chicken

4 tablespoons gochujang (spicy Korean chili paste)
3 tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 one-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
4 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 2-inch pieces (about 5 loose cups)
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
1 bunch radishes (about 10 ounces), trimmed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)

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 an oiled 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 on another baking sheet. In the original recipe it was all on one sheet but I found the vegetables got soggy, followed by mushy, so I separated it.

Roast until vegetables are tender, chicken is cooked through and the skin crispy and browned in spots, about 40 minutes. Check your chicken and make sure it is done. Skin should get crispy and dark.

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.

Top the roast chicken and vegetables with the quick-pickled scallion-radish mix and transfer to serving plates. Serve with steamed rice, if desired.

Za’atar chicken

Ingredients 6 garlic cloves, finely grated, pressed, or minced
2 lemons, zested
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons za’atar, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or marjoram, plus more sprigs for garnish
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pound tiny potatoes cut in half

Procedure In a large bowl or container, stir together 5 of the grated garlic cloves, half the lemon zest, 1/3 cup yogurt, the cilantro, oil, za’atar, oregano or marjoram, salt and black pepper. Add chicken and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Overnight is way better.

When ready to cook, heat your oven to 425. Remove chicken from bowl, shaking off any excess marinade, put on oiled sheet pan, along with the potatoes which have a drizzle of olive oil and salt on them. Cook for should take 25-30 minutes. Make sure to mix it a little and check that the potatoes are tender.

While the chicken is cooking, place remaining 2/3 cup yogurt in a small bowl. Stir in the reserve grated garlic clove and lemon zest, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut one zested lemon in half and set aside for serving (save the other zested lemon for another use). To serve, place chicken and potatoes on a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil and a large squeeze of the zested lemon. Top with cilantro and oregano or marjoram sprigs and serve with yogurt sauce.

Rhubarb Roasted chicken

1 3/4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
5 thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
8 ounces rhubarb stalks, sliced into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons honey, plus more to taste
1/2 cup cilantro or mint leaves and tender stems

Heat oven to 425 degrees and line sheet pan with parchment paper. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season all over with coriander, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Place onion wedges on the prepared sheet pan and lightly season with more salt and pepper. Add chicken and thyme sprigs to the pan and drizzle 3 tablespoons oil over everything. Toss until well coated, then spread chicken and onions in a single layer. Roast for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven, combine rhubarb and 3 tablespoons honey in a medium bowl. Lightly drizzle with oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss until rhubarb is well coated.

Remove chicken from oven and carefully spoon rhubarb onto the hot pan around the onions and chicken. Continue roasting until the chicken is cooked through, and the rhubarb and onion are tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes longer, tossing the rhubarb and onions (not the chicken) once about halfway through.

Stir the rhubarb and onions very well, making sure to incorporate all the browned bits and chicken juices from the bottom of the pan (this is the tastiest part). Then sample a piece of rhubarb. If it’s very tart, drizzle with a little more honey, tossing well. Serve chicken with rhubarb-onion mixture garnished with herbs.

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