The Easiest Way to Cook Chicken
Recently, when someone asked me what the easiest way to make chicken is, I was completely stumped. I didn’t know how to answer, and I spent way too much time thinking about the different cuts of chicken and various preparations—frying versus pan-searing—and how long it takes to cook bone-in breasts versus skinless, boneless cutlets. Although I was food-geeking out, I couldn’t take a firm stance on what actually is the easiest way to make chicken.
But all of a sudden, it hit me. I was rapidly throwing together a quick and hearty lunch by tossing chicken, mushrooms, bread cubes, and red peppers together on a sheet pan, and as I slid it into the oven, I realized the easiest way to cook chicken is so easy that I hadn’t even considered it—I simply did it all the time without thinking! It’s throwing the raw chicken on a sheet pan with some sort of seasoning or vegetable and cooking it in the oven.
Sheet pan chicken can be made with any cut of chicken, any kind of seasoning, and for any serving amount. Whether you’re feeding two people or 20, the preparation is the same: Season chicken, toss with accompanying ingredients, pour onto sheet pan, and bake. In the words of Ina Garten, “How easy is that?!” To encourage you to become familiar with this technique and to understand just how easy it is, here are nine sheet pan chicken recipes for you to make. Enjoy!
Roasting fennel gives it a sweet earthy flavor that’s great served alongside baked chicken and melted tomatoes. Season the whole thing with tangy-sweet balsamic vinegar and fragrant rosemary. Pair with crusty bread, mashed potatoes, and a crisp white wine. This meal sounds so divine it will even impress company!
This genius recipe takes the concept of chicken and stuffing and turns it on its head. Instead of stuffing a whole bird with a bread mixture, chicken is roasted on top of bread cubes, celery, and apple. The chicken fat is absorbed by the bread, and the finished dish is absolutely to die for.
For a Mediterranean-inspired dinner, make this easy chicken sheet pan supper. It's a whole chicken that’s been broken down into five pieces is seasoned with paprika. Garbanzo beans and leeks are the veggies that roast alongside the chicken. Serve with a tangy Greek yogurt sauce and warmed pita bread and you’ve got a meal that’s delicious enough to offer guests!
Love classic Caesar salad? You’ve got to try this variation of the dish. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are coated in breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese before being place on the baking sheet. Romaine hearts are roasted alongside the chicken resulting in a warm winterized version of the traditional salad that takes just 20 minutes to prepare.
To make this Greek-style meal, nestle chicken wings into a bed of potatoes, bell peppers, red onions, lemons, olives, and anchovies. Don’t be afraid of the anchovies; they will melt into the ingredients and enhance the pan drippings. To serve, top with tangy feta cheese. Sounds fabulous, right?
As illustrated by this recipe for roast chicken with paprika and roasted garlic, a whole chicken can be roasted using the sheet pan method, too. The key is to choose vegetables that will take the same amount of time to cook as the entire bird takes. Hearty root vegetables like potatoes and carrots are great options.
One way to ensure that the chicken stays moist while roasting is to pour a little wine into the roasting pan. This recipe for drumsticks and vegetables in mustard-tarragon sauce does just that. The resulting chicken is juicy, flavorful, and delicious!
Shop sheet pans and baking dishes perfect for making these recipes below.
What do you think is the easiest way to make chicken? Have you ever had sheet pan chicken?