Warm chicken and fingerling salad starts on a sheet pan

Chicken breasts, fingerling potatoes and lemon wedges are jumbled together on one pan for a simple tray bake.

SHARE Warm chicken and fingerling salad starts on a sheet pan
This dish takes the ease of sheet pan cooking and upends it, literally, on top of a salad. 

This dish takes the ease of sheet pan cooking and upends it, literally, on top of a salad.

Lynda Balslev/TasteFood

When it comes to flavor, say yes to bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts.

Chicken breasts often get a bad rap for their dryness and lack of flavor. Leaving the bones and skin on the breast helps to solve this problem. Not only do the bones add flavor to the meat while it cooks, but they help to distribute the heat, which prevents the meat from drying out. The skin also helps to keep the meat moist and tender by sealing in the juices; and, besides, who doesn’t like crispy skin?

This dish takes the ease of sheet pan cooking and upends it, literally, on top of a salad. Chicken breasts, fingerling potatoes and lemon wedges are jumbled together on one pan for a simple tray bake. Once roasted, the ingredients are arranged over a bed of escarole leaves, while the collected cooking juices from the chicken and lemon dress and slightly wilt the salad leaves for a casual and homey meal.

Warm Chicken and Fingerling Salad With Escarole

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 large split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, each about 10 to 12 ounces
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, thickly sliced crosswise, about 3/4-inch thick
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large untreated lemon, washed, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 large head escarole, leaves rinsed and dried

DIrections:

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Whisk 1/4 cup olive oil, the garlic, lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Rub the oil mixture all over the chicken and between the skin and breast meat.

3. Place the potatoes in a bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.

4. Arrange the chicken skin side up on a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment. Scatter the potatoes and lemon wedges around the chicken.

5. Transfer to the oven and roast until the chicken and potatoes are golden brown and cooked through (the internal temperature of the chicken should register 165 degrees), about 40 minutes.

6. Remove and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Carve the chicken off the breast bones and thickly slice crosswise, about 1/2-inch thick.

7. While the chicken is resting, place the escarole in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and toss to coat. Spread the leaves on a serving platter.

8. Arrange the chicken over the escarole. Scatter the potatoes around the chicken. Drizzle any pan juices over the chicken and potatoes. Squeeze the juice of 1 to 2 lemon wedges over the salad. Serve with the remaining wedges.

Lynda Balslev is an award-winning food and wine writer, cookbook author and recipe developer. She also authors the blog TasteFood, a compilation of more than 600 original recipes, photos and stories. More recipes can be found atchicago.suntimes.com/taste.

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