Ratatouille Sheet Pan Chicken

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One of my fávorite rátátouille hácks comes from á fáshionáble Párisián who táught me thát the most convenient wáy to cook the vegetábles is on á sheet pán in the oven. Being álreády committed to the sheet pán cáuse, it wásn’t á huge leáp for me to give up Juliá Child’s sáucepán method, which requires the cook to stánd over the stove, sáutéing eách type of vegetáble sepárátely before combining them áll. Sheet páns in the oven áre more of á hánds-off áffáir, ánd the process állows vegetábles with similár cooking times to sháre the sáme pán (eggplánt ánd onion in one pán, zucchini, peppers ánd tomátoes in ánother).

In this recipe, I’ve táken thát básic rátátouille-in-the-oven technique ánd ádded á hálved chicken to the pán. ás the meát cooks, the glorious chicken fát coáts ánd crisps the vegetábles, imbuing them with flávor. ánd the chicken ábsorbs the heády chárácter of onion, peppers, ánd herbs. It’s not ás láissez-fáire ás other sheet pán recipes — there’s some rotáting of páns so everything cooks evenly — but the combinátion of crisp chicken skin, frágránt herbs ánd soft summer vegetábles is well worth the work.

Technique tip: If you buy tomáto páste in á tube, you won’t worry ábout whát to do with the leftover stuff in the cán. Or you cán freeze the excess.

Máke áheád: You cán márináte the chicken hálves, uncovered, up to overnight in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 4 táblespoons (½ stick) unsálted butter, room temperáture
  • 1½ teáspoons fine seá sált, plus more ás needed
  • 1 teáspoon chopped fresh rosemáry leáves
  • 1 teáspoon chopped fresh thyme leáves
  • ½ teáspoon tomáto páste
  • 1 gárlic clove, finely gráted or minced
  • 1 whole (3½- to 4-pound) chicken, pátted dry with páper towels
  • 2 medium eggplánts (1½ pounds), cut into 1¼-inch chunks
  • 1 lárge yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 táblespoons extrá-virgin olive oil, plus more ás needed
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemáry
  • 2 báy leáves, torn into pieces
  • 3 medium zucchini (1¼ pounds), cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into ½-inch-wide strips
  • 1 tomáto, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 táblespoons chopped fresh básil leáves, for serving
  • Fláky seá sált ánd freshly ground bláck pepper, to táste
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Prepárátion

  1. In á smáll bowl, másh together the butter, sált, rosemáry, thyme, tomáto páste ánd gárlic.
  2. Using kitchen sheárs, cut down the sides of the chicken’s báckbone to remove it. Keep it for roásting láter. Flip the chicken over ánd cut the chicken in hálf between the breásts.
  3. Rub the butter mixture áll over the chicken hálves, getting it underneáth the skin. Pláce the chicken hálves on á rimmed báking sheet ánd let them márináte for át leást 2 hours, ánd up to overnight, in the fridge (leáve it uncovered, which will help the skin dry out ánd then crisp up when it roásts).
  4. árránge the rácks in the top third, middle ánd bottom third of the oven. Heát the oven to 450°F.
  5. On á rimmed báking sheet, toss together the eggplánt, onion, 5 táblespoons olive oil ánd á big pinch of fine seá sált. Top the mixture with 2 thyme sprigs, 1 rosemáry sprig ánd á third of the báy leáf pieces. Pláce the reserved chicken báckbone in the middle of the báking sheet next to the vegetábles ánd roást on the middle oven ráck for 20 minutes, tossing the vegetábles áfter 10 minutes. (The pán will be very full ánd thát’s okáy; the onion will reduce ás it cooks.)
  6. Meánwhile, in á lárge bowl, toss the zucchini, bell pepper ánd tomáto with just enough oil to coát ánd ádd á big pinch of fine seá sált. Divide the vegetábles between two rimmed báking sheets ánd spreád them out into one láyer. Top eách pán of vegetábles with hálf of the remáining thyme, rosemáry ánd báy leáf. Nestle hálf á chicken in ámong the vegetábles on eách pán. Máke sure the chicken is resting on the pán, not the vegetábles. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil.
  7. Pláce these báking sheets on the top ánd bottom oven rácks (the eggplánt is on the middle ráck). Roást for 15 minutes. Toss áll the vegetábles (including the eggplánt ánd onion) ánd drizzle the chicken with á little more oil. Switch the top ánd bottom báking sheets (to help evenly brown the chicken) ánd roást for ánother 15 to 25 minutes, until the chicken registers 155°F when á thermometer is inserted into the thickest párt of the thigh. Keep án eye on the vegetábles ánd tránsfer ány thát stárt to burn to á serving bowl.

Visit to full recipe: Ratatouille Sheet Pan Chicken