Sheet-Pan Persian Lemon Chicken
In our wildest dreams, we have the prowess (read: time) to meal-prep a hearty lunch for every day of the week. This spicy, savory sheet-pan Persian lemon chicken from Allison Day’s Modern Lunch: +100 Recipes for Assembling the New Midday Meal might make our dreams come true.
“When I think of, and subsequently crave, Persian cuisine, I pull out all the spice stops, found here in the form of heady cinnamon, almost-sour sumac and luscious cardamom,” Day writes.
Don’t be put off by the lengthy ingredient list, though. “This meal can be assembled in five to ten minutes,” Day assures. Best of all, it will keep in your refrigerator for up to four days—so you can make it ahead and pat yourself on the back, you meal-prep pro.
Excerpted from Modern Lunch: +100 Recipes for Assembling the New Midday Meal by Allison Day. Copyright © Allison Day. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
One 4-pound whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, halved)
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
1 sweet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 onion, peeled and quartered
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
½ teaspoon cumin seed or ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby spinach
½ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
½ cup pomegranate seeds
Pomegranate molasses, for drizzling (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. On a baking sheet, place the chicken pieces or breasts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic and onion. Squeeze the lemon over everything, then add the juiced lemon half, olive oil, sumac, cumin, thyme, cinnamon, cardamom and salt to the baking sheet. Season with pepper. Using clean hands, toss everything thoroughly and spread the mixture into a single layer, with the chicken skin side up.
2. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, the skin is crispy and the potatoes are tender, 40 to 45 minutes, or when an instant-read thermometer registers 165°F on the chicken. Discard the lemon half.
3. Top with the spinach, dollops of yogurt, pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, if using.
Note: This dish can be enjoyed warm or cold. To serve it warm, cool the tray slightly, add a serving of chicken and potatoes to a container and drizzle with pomegranate molasses, to taste. Pack the spinach, yogurt and pomegranate seeds separately and refrigerate both containers until you are ready to take them with you, up to four days. When you are ready to eat, reheat the chicken and potatoes, and then top with the spinach, dollops of yogurt and pomegranate seeds. To serve it cold, add a serving to a container and top it with the spinach, dollops of yogurt, pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, to taste. Seal and refrigerate until you are ready to take it with you, up to four days. Keep it in the refrigerator at work or with a cooler pack in your lunch bag until you are ready to eat.