One-Pan Roasted Chicken by Julia Turshen

Pop quiz: What are you having for dinner tonight? To continue our series of easy dinners that people actually make, we’re featuring this one-pan roasted chicken from Julia Turshen’s new cookbook, Now & Again. Plus, she also shares how to turn the leftovers into a killer chicken salad the next day. Here’s how it’s done…

Celebration Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Dates
From Julia Turshen’s Now & Again

This chicken doesn’t require much work and yields a crowd-pleasing, highly flavorful result. It calls for just one roasting pan, in which you both mix everything and cook. There are no extra bowls or pans, no browning chicken in batches and definitely no fuss.

Recipe: Celebration Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Dates
Serves 8 to 10

You’ll need:

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Two 3–to–4 lb chickens, each cut into 10 pieces (2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs and 2 breasts cut in half across the bone), backbone discarded, at room temperature
3 large sweet potatoes, about 2 lb total, unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into bite-size pieces
12 large dried dates, halved and pitted
A small handful of chopped fresh soft herbs (cilantro, parsley, dill and chives all work well)

Preheat your oven to 425F. In a large roasting pan, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper. You want a pan that’s big enough to hold all of the chicken pieces in a single layer; a disposable aluminum pan is good for this if your roasting pan isn’t large enough. Add the chicken pieces, sweet potatoes and dates.

Use your hands to mix everything together and get the marinade on all of chicken, sweet potatoes, and dates. Warning: the following is a bit messy, but bear with me. Move everything around so the sweet potatoes and dates are in a single layer on the bottom of the pan and the chicken pieces, skin-side up, are in a single, even layer on top.

Roast until the sweet potatoes are tender (test with a fork) and the chicken pieces are firm to the touch and their exposed skin is nicely browned, about 1 hour. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.

To serve, transfer the chicken, sweet potatoes and dates to a large serving platter and pour all of the cooking juices over the top. Sprinkle with the herbs and serve warm.

Here’s an easy chicken salad to make from your leftovers…

Shred whatever chicken you have left, discard the skin and bones and roughly chop the leftover sweet potatoes and dates. Put all of that into a bowl, sprinkle with a generous amount of curry powder and add a large spoonful of mango chutney (or apricot jam, or just leave it out if you’ve got enough sweet dates) and stir to mix. Add just enough mayonnaise to bind everything together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in some thinly sliced scallions and, if you’d like a bit of crunch, some chopped roasted almonds. Serve on toast or in lettuce cups.

Thank you so much, Julia! We love your new cookbook.

(Reprinted from Now & Again by Julia Turshen with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018. Thanks to Franny Eremin for helping with this series.)