Garlic tamari glazed chicken and a savory side salad make a perfect combination for spring
There are few experiences sweeter than springtime in Maine. We earn these warmer, sunny days, having slogged through months of snow, sleet, slush and rain. It’s no wonder that we embrace every golden hour that spring offers. Who wants to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals and cleaning up when you can be outside enjoying the abundant charms of our very own Vacationland?
Enter the sheet pan supper, a superstar on the culinary scene and a lifesaver for folks who love wholesome, homemade meals that are also easy to prepare, easier to clean up and taste delicious.
This recipe could not be any simpler…or tastier. It takes minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to cook and cleans up in the blink of an eye. In the interest of saving time, I often buy a precut veggie mixture in the produce section of my local grocery story. I find that not only am I saving time, I’m also saving money and wasting less food by buying exactly the amount of veggies I need for the dish.
But wait…there’s more! The marinade is one of my most versatile kitchen staples in my repertoire. It elevates the taste of plain roasted chicken thighs and veggies, but it’s also perfect for summer grilling season. Use it on any protein from tofu to turkey breasts, sirloin to salmon.
If I’m cooking for a crowd—or if I just want leftovers—I will double the recipe and cook on two sheet pans. This dish is one of those that is even tastier the next day. I can also accommodate both vegetarians and meat eaters by making one sheet pan with chicken thighs and another with tofu steaks.
The Farro and Arugula Salad is another simple and extraordinarily versatile dish that lends itself to almost infinite iterations. Prepared as instructed in the recipe below, it makes a wonderful side salad or a hearty vegetarian main dish. Adding tofu would up the protein factor for a meatless meal. Adding leftover beef or chicken is another flavorful and filling option. And when fresh veggies like tomatoes, beans, carrots, peas and corn are in season, this salad just begs you to toss them in and enjoy the garden fresh goodness of summer.
? GARLIC TAMARI GLAZED CHICKEN & VEGETABLES
4 large bone-in chicken thighs, with skin
1 1/2 lbs vegetables, 1-inch dice (carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips, beets—whatever strikes your fancy)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice of half a lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/3 cup V8 Juice or tomato juice
3 large garlic cloves, minced
Whisk all ingredients for marinade together, blending thoroughly.
Use 2/3 of the mixture to marinate the chicken thighs in a resealable zipper storage bag or sealed container, refrigerated for at least three hours.
Reserve the remaining 1/3 of the marinade.
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400º.
Toss vegetables in remaining 1/3 of the marinade.
Place marinated chicken thighs in the middle of a 9 x 13 sheet pan, surrounded by the vegetables.
Cook for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft with crispy edges and the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160º.
? FARRO & ARUGULA SALAD
1 cup farro
3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup baby arugula, chopped
3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/4 cups dried fruit (raisins, currants, Craisins, chopped apricots or a mixture)
1/4 chopped walnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring farro and stock to a boil. Cover and simmer until stock is absorbed, 45 minutes to an hour.
Let cool to room temperature.
When farro has cooled, whisk lemon juice and olive oil together.
In a large bowl, toss farro, arugula, scallions, dried fruit and walnuts with the lemon/olive oil dressing. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve at room temperature.
Candace Karu makes her living writing about food, fitness and travel. She lives near the ocean in an old farmhouse with two ill-behaved dogs and two hard-working barn cats. Follow her on Instagram: @candacekaru or at candacekaru.com