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Ciao bella

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The Joys of Cooking Sheet-Pan Dinners

The Joys of Cooking Sheet-Pan Dinners

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Sheet-pan dinners need more love

I love crock pots. I haven’t splurged on an Instant Pot yet. But I feel sheet pan dinners don’t get the love they deserve. You get a protein and roast veggies with it. They usually take about 30 minutes to cook and the food is succulent. I got Cook’s Illustrated Best One Dish Suppers and I can’t wait to try some recipes from it. They have several sheet pan dinners and their recipes tend to be amazing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-invest in those cookbooks and magazines. The best recipes I have ever made are from there. Another great thing you can do with sheet pans is have a foil layer on the bottom and it makes clean up amazing. In the fall, on days like today when it’s been cold and drizzly, these dinners are perfect. Here are some other places to check for sheet-pan dinners-Food Network, The Girl on Bloor, and Taste of Home.

Tonight’s Inspiration

We originally were going to eat some leftover chili after we put my son to bed. I could write a love letter to chili as well. Anyway, we were laying in bed waiting for Rhys to fall asleep and I was all engrossed in my book about Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley. We realized we had some chicken that might go bad and we needed to eat it. I would like to say this scene right here-this is a long term relationship post children. It’s lovely and it’s work. It’s not glamorous all the time. Sometimes life is leftover chili and discussing historical mysteries with someone who is waiting for the World Series to start. Anyway, we decided to try this recipe that I had found through New York Times Cooking. You can sign up for curated recipes for free. The recipe is Sheet-Pan Chicken With Apple, Fennel and Onion by Colu Henry.

 Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

Sheet-Pan Chicken With Apple, Fennel, and Onion

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 2 ½ to 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, patted dry

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, tough outer leaves removed, cored and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 tart apple, such as Mutsu (Crispin) or Granny Smith, halved, cored and cut into 8 wedges

  • 4 sprigs rosemary

  • Flaky salt, for serving

Again, you can find the preparation here.

Notes on the prep:

  1. I know, I know the mortar and pestle thing seems daunting. It really didn’t take that long to toast the fennel seeds and crush them up. We own a mortar and pestle because I have a shopping addiction and Alice Waters said they were a kitchen essential. This is the first time we have used it. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use other alternatives. This is from Wonder How-To, I’m partial to the ziploc and a blunt object way.

  2. We didn’t have bone-in chicken thighs with skin so we skipped the last step.

  3. The prep was surprisingly easy because you didn’t have to dice anything. I am notorious for taking forever to chop things up. This was simply slicing.

  4. It smelled wonderful. Fennel is a different spice that isn’t used too much in American cooking. It can be overpowering but this recipe had just the right amount of flavor. It also just made the house smell amazing.


Would Make Again

We loved it. Oh if you are interested in NYT Cooking here is some more information on it.The kitchen is already cleaned up and we’ve got food for tomorrow that is delicious. The apple added the right amount of acid to the veggies. The rosemary added a more earthy note. The recipe was inexpensive, quick, and fancy pants. Colu Henry deserves applause. It was a nice compromise between my favorite 8 pan fancy cooking and putting together foods for the family. You could make this on a weeknight and it is highly suggested. I’ll try to post more of these recipes as they come along. It just turned out wonderfully and it was a nice ending to a drizzly day.

 Here it is before we cooked it. Remember how I said I love it when something looks good and it’s just the ingredients. This recipe was a perfect example. It was fragrant and fresh.

Here it is before we cooked it. Remember how I said I love it when something looks good and it’s just the ingredients. This recipe was a perfect example. It was fragrant and fresh.

 The finished sheet pan. Seriously, it took very little time to put together and it was awesome. The veggies were roasted perfectly and were incredibly tender.

The finished sheet pan. Seriously, it took very little time to put together and it was awesome. The veggies were roasted perfectly and were incredibly tender.

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