Food

One-Pan Roasted Chicken (With a Trick for Leftovers)

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.)

  1. Katie says...

    I went in skeptical – I don’t love dates, I thought the marinade sounded too simple, but y’all it was SO good! Will definitely make again, thanks for posting!

  2. Gail says...

    I made it and it’s GREAT! Followed recipe exactly. I cooked it for about 50 minutes.

  3. Amy says...

    I scaled this way down for 3 people (1 lb chicken drumsticks, 1 lb sweet potato) but put it on a sheet pan – my mistake! It dried out a bit and cooked very quickly because it wasn’t tight together. I ended up adding a splash of water towards the end, but there were definitely no juices left when I pulled it out. So if you scale down, make sure that it’s snug together in its single layer. Otherwise it tasted great!

    • Carrie says...

      I had the same problem, except I didn’t check it while it was cooking and burned the whole thing. Some parts were salvageable but I want to try it again!

  4. This looks very yummy and healthy!!!

  5. April says...

    I’m sorry but I need a lil clarity please! So to roast means to cook this uncovered correct? And does it also mean I should use a rack?

    Thank you!

    • Claire says...

      I’ve done chicken like this many times. Yes, uncovered. And I would not use a rack.

  6. Kat says...

    Okay, this is lovely, but I was put off by all the chicken cutting-up math and also that I don’t view cutting up a whole chicken as easy. Doesn’t seem easy! What am I missing?? Can I just buy the pieces??

    • Claire says...

      Yes! Just buy the pieces!

    • Laura says...

      I would love a tutorial on how to cut up a chicken. I buy the spatchcocked chicken from TJ’s but I know that I’m paying up for something I theoretically *could* do on my own but I find it 100% intimidating & overwhelming.

  7. Carrie says...

    I also cannot wait to make this on Sunday night and eat the leftovers as prescribed for a work lunch next week!

  8. Dinah says...

    I made this last night with bone-in chicken thighs and cooked it for a shorter amount of time. It was awesome!! Perfect, easy meal.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so glad to hear that!

  9. Ann says...

    I may try this chicken with boneless thighs to see how it turns out!

  10. Helen Schulte says...

    Do you eat the sweet potatoes skin & all after they are cooked?

  11. Can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing! I love the way you add sweet potato in this pan.

  12. Tricia says...

    This looks a bit like the New York Times recipe of chicken thighs with sweet potatoes and peppers, which is so delicious.

  13. Perfect for a crowd! I can’t wait to try it over the October holidays when we have a full house of guests :-)

  14. Charlie Good says...

    Thanks for this amazing recipe!

  15. Tania says...

    I was just telling my co-worker how Julia Turshen is the best! She has these deceptively simple but totally inspired ways of elevating a dish — her nice lasagna recipe has you add creme fraiche to the tomato sauce. Yum!

    • Jessica says...

      Also important to note is that all of those lasagna ingredients can be purchased at Trader Joe’s. WIN WIN WIN.

  16. Sasha L says...

    Sort of off topic, but I’m baking Julia’s applesauce cake with my preschoolers this afternoon. It’s from same cookbook and up on Design Sponge right now. I can’t wait!! Applesauce and cinnamon and ginger…..yum.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she’s the best and so talented!

  17. Julie says...

    Yay, something Paleo!!!! Most “easy” dinners include pasta and bread. Bravo

    • Anu says...

      I’m a huge of that Keepers cookbook and also another cookbook by the same authors (possibly even better) – The Dinner Plan. Also, really loving the new Food52 meal plan cookbook, though that leans fancier.

  18. <3

  19. I just ordered her cookbook last night after watching her and Grace’s lovely instagram live, and when I saw the picture for this post my first thought was “That looks like a Julia Turshen recipe” haha

  20. Sara says...

    This might be a silly question, but how do you get the chicken in pieces? Is this something the butcher does or do you cut up the raw chicken yourself? New to cooking meat!

    • Em says...

      You can ask the butcher counter at the grocery store to cut up a whole chicken for you. I’m sure this would also work with an equal weight of chicken thighs and drumsticks.

    • Kim says...

      Not a silly question at all. You can cut it up yourself. Melissa Clark has a quick and easy video.

  21. Megan says...

    Oh. My. Goodness. I just had lunch and this still made my mouth water! Definitely going on the list for my next week of meal planning.

  22. Ali G says...

    Don’t discard the backbone (or neck if you have it)! Freeze and use to make chicken stock at a later date :)

  23. Brooke says...

    I really want to pin this recipe, but the Pinterest button isn’t working.

  24. Kristiana says...

    UHM YUM??!!! just shared this with my closest ladies via copy and paste. This looks fabulous.

  25. Sheila says...

    I feel like I have asked numerous times for these recipes to be in print format? I want to be able to hand something to one of my kids to try for their night of cooking. Is there an issue with copyrights I am not aware of Joanne?

    Thanks

    • Nicole says...

      You can print these pretty easily by copy-pasting to Word or just going to Print in the browser menu.

    • Taylor says...

      Sheila, why not copy and paste the text of the recipe into a word doc and print it?

    • Meg says...

      Hi Sheila- perhaps you could try copying and pasting into a Word document?

    • landa says...

      someone woke up on the wrong side of the omelet!
      (foodie joke to break the tension due to Shelia’s semi-abrasive comment – did it work?)

  26. Carrie says...

    Even though I’m vegetarian, I love the fact that this meal is reflecting the changing season! Autumn/winter recipes are so cozy and wholesome (albeit fattening)

  27. Abbey says...

    This is absolutely perfect for the upcoming Rosh Hashanah holiday. It’s traditional to have sweet food for a sweet new year, and I was looking for a great new chicken dish to serve. Thanks for sharing!

    • Taylor says...

      I JUST got this cookbook and this recipe is actually in a section with Rosh Hashanah ideas and leftover suggestions! There’s also an apple and honey cake recipe I’m so excited to try out this year!

  28. Lisa says...

    Yum

  29. Claire says...

    This looks very good! I like sweet potatoes with chicken. I might also add some onion wedges, or some almonds. Thank you for sharing this one!

  30. Andrea says...

    I love these pan recipes with chicken! We often cook for our parish’s homeless shelter and I can prep this in big ziplocks bags at home and then cook it off at the shelter. Delicious comfort food!

  31. edie says...

    I adore Julia. So down-to-earth and charming. She’s my ideal dream dinner guest!

  32. Valeria says...

    Oh dear. In Italy we would remove the skin or brown it before baking it in a pan like this. I can’t imagine the texture of the skin underneath being very pleasant. Is American chicken less fatty?

    • Claire says...

      I’m not sure I am entirely clear on what your concern is, but I will say that using this technique the skin browns very well in the oven, and comes out crispy. I’ve done it many times, and it’s delicious. I have never found any unpleasantness with texture. Also, I have found that leaving the skin on helps keep the meat from getting tough and dried out.

  33. Jennifer says...

    Making this tonight!

  34. Mmm I love how she turns it into chicken salad the next day! I just signed up for Sprouted Kitchen’s cooking club and I’m super excited to have some simple dinners like this planned for me. :)

  35. Hannah Avery says...

    This sounds delicious!!!

  36. Maggie says...

    Whole30 too!! This looks perfect.