Perfectly cooked roast chicken pieces are one of those culinary basics that everyone needs to master--ok, maybe not everyone--not vegetarians and vegans and non-chicken loving folks, just you know, mostly everyone. Crispy skin, tender, flavorful chicken meat, it's one of my favorite comfort foods and this easy-to-make dish that includes red onions, potatoes and apples is sure to become a favorite of yours too. Read on and I'll let you in on the simple secret to making it turn out perfect each and every time.
DON'T CROWD THE PAN!! Sorry if it feels like I'm shouting, but if you want your chicken and veggies to truly roast and not steam, then they've got to be in a single layer in the pan with a little bit of space between all the pieces so that the air can get in and do its thing. The picture below is borderline too crowded but I wanted to give you a general idea and my non-crowded picture is just too awful to send!! Now, I'm not a huge fan of absolute kitchen rules, but this is one of them and I promise if you simply follow it, your chicken will come out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside and your veggies will get tender and caramelized--in other words, irresistible! You'll be that rock star who's "known for their chicken" and what could be a more coveted title than that?!!
The other thing that's so great about a dish like this, besides the fact that you throw it together in like 10 minutes and then go about and do whatever you have to do while it bakes and the fact that there's virtually no clean up because it all gets done in one pan and the fact that you really don't need to make any side, except for maybe a salad, is that it's extremely versatile. Don't have red onions? Use white ones or shallots or all garlic instead. Trying to stay away from carbs? Swap out the potatoes for carrots or cauliflower. Love fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme? Toss in a few sprigs. Make it your own. Just remember to stick to the golden rule. Then go be a rebel and cut off that mattress tag!! Have a great day!!
One-Pan Roast Chicken with Red Onions, Potatoes and Apples
Makes 5-6 servings (you could easily double this and just cook it in two pans for a larger crowd)
Prep Time: 12-15 minutes; Cook Time: About 1 hour-1 ½ hours
- 2 red onions, peeled, halved and each half cut into 5 wedges
- 1 ¼ pounds small red or white potatoes, cut into halves or quarters if large
- 7-8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2-3 apples, cored and cut into large chunks (I use Gala)
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 ½ - 4 pounds chicken on the bone (if pieces are large, cut them into halves or thirds)
1. Preheat oven to 400º F. Place the onions, potatoes, garlic and apple in a large roasting pan so that they can lie in an even layer. This is what will allow them to roast and crisp rather than steam. If the pan is too crowded, use 2 instead and divide up the mixture evenly. Add the chicken pieces and season the whole thing with salt and pepper, pour the oil and vinegar over it all and toss well, making sure everything is coated. Nestle the chicken pieces skin-side up among the mixture.
2. Bake for 1-1 ½ hours, until the chicken is entirely cooked through, potatoes are tender and garlic, apples and onions are caramelized. Serve immediately.
3. For a larger crowd, this recipe doubles really well. Just make sure you use two pans.
Note: Recipe loosely adapted from Pure Simple Cooking by Diana Henry. I added in apples, cut the garlic by ⅔, used only white meat, cooked it far longer and omitted the rosemary.