Cooking vegetables and chicken together in the same pan often leads to unevenly cooked chicken and greasy, soggy vegetables. To get the chicken and vegetables to cook at the same rate, we used chicken parts, which contain less overall fat than a whole chicken and don't smother the vegetables underneath, which would cause them to steam. To ensure that the delicate white meat stayed moist while the darker meat cooked through, we placed the chicken breasts in the center of the pan, with the thighs and drumsticks around the perimeter. A similar treatment for the vegetables-leafy Brussels sprouts in the middle, hardier potatoes and carrots on the outside-also proved effective.
We halve the chicken breasts crosswise for even cooking. Use Brussels sprouts no bigger than golf balls, as larger ones are often tough and woody.
3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3/4 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound shallots, peeled and halved
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, thick ends halved lengthwise
6 garlic cloves, peeled
4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (2 split breasts cut in half crosswise, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs), trimmed
How to Make It
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts, potatoes, shallots, carrots, garlic, 2 teaspoons thyme, oil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in bowl. Combine butter, remaining 2 teaspoons thyme, remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in second bowl; set aside.
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Place vegetables in single layer on rimmed baking sheet, arranging Brussels sprouts in center. Place chicken, skin side up, on top of vegetables, arranging breast pieces in center and leg and thigh pieces around perimeter of sheet.
Brush chicken with herb butter and roast until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs -register 175 degrees, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Toss vegetables in pan juices and transfer to platter with chicken. Serve.
Cooks Country Feb/March 2012
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