Accidental Locavore Sheet Pan ChickenThis sheet pan chicken dinner came about because I was stuck in the house on a snowy day, and come across a recipe (this from the NY Times Cooking) for something that sounds perfect for dinner and…

I had all the ingredients!!

Bonus points because it all got prepped in the time it took to thaw out the chicken thighs and clean off a car.

Sheet Pan Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula and Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 ½ pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 ¼ pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons harissa (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 ½ tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest (from 1/2 lemon)
  • ⅓ cup plain yogurt (do not use Greek yogurt)
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 ounces baby arugula
  • Chopped fresh dill, as needed
  • Lemon juice, as needed

Accidental Locavore Chicken Sheet Pan MakingsCombine chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together harissa, cumin and 3 tablespoons oil. Pour over chicken and potatoes and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine leeks, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil.

Heat oven to 425°. Arrange chicken and potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast 15 minutes. Toss potatoes lightly. Scatter leeks over pan. Roast until chicken and potatoes are cooked through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 25 to 30 minutes longer.

While chicken cooks, place yogurt in a small bowl. Grate garlic over yogurt and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon yogurt over chicken and vegetables in the pan. Scatter arugula and dill over mixture. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice, serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Sheet Pan ChickenMy verdict: Like I said in the intro, miraculously all the ingredients were in the house! I did all the prep and made the yogurt sauce (adding about ½ teaspoon of lemon juice) while the thighs were thawing. Then, all I needed to do was pop it on a sheet pan (which I’ve taken to lining with parchment to make cleaning up easier) and bake it.

It was delicious! The potatoes were amazing, and the chicken was great! We’ll definitely be having this again.

A few comments from readers who had made it, taught me to keep the potatoes on the outside perimeter to help them crisp and try to put the leeks under the chicken and potatoes so they wouldn’t singe. Both worked well. The next time, I might slice the leeks a little thicker, it wouldn’t hurt the cooking time, and there would be less chance of singeing them.

The third helpful comment was to put the arugula on the plates and then plate the chicken and potatoes on top, so the arugula doesn’t get too warm and wilted. Also, a good idea.

If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you might want to go easy on the harissa. My favorite brand is spicy and flavorful, but not killer.

The dill is probably optional, if you have it great, if not cilantro might even be better. I added lemon juice to the yogurt, so went a little easy with it on the chicken.

You’ve got lots of options here and any of them will make an easy, tasty dinner.





Accidental Locavore Farm Box Week 5

This week’s farm box for the Accidental Locavore was packed full of great stuff! There were radishes, turnips (both with their greens), green and yellow beans, peas, arugula, mesclun, perfect tiny heads of broccoli, small bunches of dill, rosemary, thyme and sage and the last of the season’s strawberries.

When the Locavore drove up to pick up my box, all the plants at the farm that had been under cover were suddenly almost a foot tall. So what to do with all this bounty? First, an arugula pesto made with some of last week’s wild arugula, tossed over homemade fettuccine. Then added: sautéed peas and broccoli with strips of prosciutto and topped all of it with Parmesan. Delicious!Accidental Locavore Pasta With Arugula Pesto

The beans inspired a Salad Nicoise with some of the beautiful lettuce, a couple radishes, basil from the garden, local eggs, and lots more goodies.Accidental Locavore Green & Wax Beans

Then, the rest of the broccoli, tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, steamed for a few minutes and roasted to go with grilled steak. Great broccoli!

Later in the week, the peas were quickly sautéed in olive oil with toasted cumin seeds, cayenne and a splash of lemon juice to go with an Indian salmon in mustard sauce.And for a home-alone locavore, braised turnip greens were used as a bed for a pan- seared lamb chop, fragrant with the rosemary and a little garlic.

The Accidental Locavore has been feeling a little guilty about the massive amount of plastic bags used for storing all these great greens and has been trying to re-use them when possible. Recently I was checking out alternative storage solutions, which seem to be limited and still mostly plastic. Any kind of hard containers (plastic or glass) take up way to much (already limited) refrigerator space. And just dumping greens in the crisper drawer doesn’t work because they go limp way too quickly.

Any good ideas for storing produce out there?



Accidental Locavore Pasta With Arugula PestoThis is an old favorite of the Accidental Locavore, a lemony pesto with arugula taking the place of some of the basil. Adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook.

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 6 cloves garlic (if they’re big, use 1-2 less)
  • 5 cups arugula
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • ¾ cup olive oil (you may not need quite this much, stop when it gets to a consistency you like)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Put pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and process until a paste. Add the arugula and basil and process to a thick paste. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin stream (the pesto should be thick and spreadable, like a thick mayo). Add the lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste and process until combined. If you’re not going to freeze it, add the Parmesan and process until blended. Serve over pasta, fish or lamb and enjoy.


{ 1 comment }