I am experiencing a life-sized version of “my eyes are bigger than my stomach” which has been a common theme throughout the course of my existence. Bigger, busier, and faster is better even if each task involves major procrastination and panic. I blame my parents. They made me.
When my brain is on overload I typically retreat and try to solve the issue(s) by putting each task in its own private bucket, if you will. Days are buckets. Today I will do homework. Tomorrow I will study while running on the treadmill. The day after that I will completely finish the project at work which has enveloped my life. This works in theory until your buckets are filled with life-enveloping tasks, to dos, and last minute additions.
This is when sheet pans come in handy. Dinner on a sheet pan. How convenient. I get to rub some chicken, cut some vegetables, throw it all on a single sheet pan, toss it in the oven and “voila”… dinner is done, man.
And the carrots in this recipe are home grown, baby. They are heirloom cosmic purples with purple skin and orange/yellow flesh. Cosmics are spicier than the regular orange carrots you can find at the grocery. I pulled them, cleaned them, and cooked them just for you.
Paprika Roasted Chicken Breasts on a Bed of Roots
(Heavily adapted from bon appetit, October 2012)
Time in Kitchen: 1.5 hours (active time: 30 minutes)
Nutrition information per serving: 350 calories, 21 carbohydrates, 35 grams protein, 13 grams fat, 4 grams fiber
For the chicken:
7 garlic cloves, grated
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
4 large chicken breast (boneless and skinless will do although bone-in with skin on would be tasty)
3 stems of fresh thyme
For the roots:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
6 large carrots (any variety)
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Dusting of cinnamon
Dusting of smoked paprika
Chickens: Mix garlic, salt, oil, paprika, and chipotle in a small bowl; mix well to blend. Using your hands, smear paste all over chicken breasts to coat. Chill, uncovered, while you prepare the root vegetables. (if you have an opportunity, these are great when left over night to marinade)
Root vegetables: Cut each sweet potato and carrot in half lengthwise, then lengthwise in to four thick wedges (the size of potato wedges). Place in a large bowl; season generally with salt and pepper. Drizzle in oil, and using your hands, toss to coat. Spread vegetables in a single layer on a large roasting pan or large rimmed sheet pan. Sprinkle with a hint of paprika and cinnamon.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place chicken breasts side by side right on top of the root vegetables. Top with sprigs of thyme. Roast chicken and vegetables for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; turn vegetables, rearranging chicken breasts if necessary. Reduce heat to 425 degrees. Continue roasting chicken and vegetables until the juices run clear; about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
HINT: the smaller your chicken breasts, the smaller you should cut your vegetables. You want them to cook evenly.
To serve: Transfer root vegetables on to a large platter. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Arrange breasts on top of vegetables. Put a few sprigs of fresh thyme on top for color.