Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetables is one of my favorite comfort foods. Comfort food by definition is, ” food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” For most, that means lots of carbs and lots of sugar. For me, comfort food really does fit the Merriam Webster definition, that is, a traditional dish that brings back childhood memories. So what is it about One Pan Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake that makes me nostalgic? I have so many childhood memories of being at my Tayta’s around dinner time. She’d whip up her chicken and vegetable bake. She always had a way of making even the hardest dish seem easy to pull together. It must be all her years of cooking for 8 children. Yes, eight. The apartment always smelled amazing. It was wafting with aromas from a mix of garlic, onion and Arabic spices that made me practically drool as I waited not-so-patiently in the family room watching TV.
My mom learned to cook Arabic dishes from my Tayta. And I’m so happy she did. I grew up eating vegetables, stews, beef, chicken and lamb. You name it, I grew up eating it. I’m pretty sure my baby food consisted of full Arabic meals smoothed out in the blender and served in plastic Barbie bowls. And for that I’m thankful. There is no other comfort to me than cooking with Arabic spices, lots of garlic, lots of onions and lots of olive oil. I know I’ve done something right when my dishes look and smell like my mom and Tayta’s dishes.
A note on “thirds of an oven.” You may have read in some of my recipes, or in other recipes a reference to cooking something in the top or bottom third of an oven. If you’ve baked sweets, you’ve definitely read baking in the middle rack. So here’s the deal with thirds of the oven. Different recipes require direct, medium or indirect heat. Most sweets are safe in the middle rack, where you’re ensured that the bottom won’t burn. While, other recipes, such as roasted vegetables, may require more direct heat to get that roasted and charred flavor.
Open up you oven and take a look. Visually divide your oven into thirds. You’ll see there is a Top third, Middle, and Bottom Third. Keep that in mind when reading recipes. For the One Pan Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Bake, I mention baking in the bottom third of the oven. When I refer to the bottom third, it means place your rack in the lower half of your oven, closer to the heat.
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 4 Chicken Thighs, skin on
- 2 tablespoons Seven Spice (found at your local Arabic store)
- 2 tablespoons Sumac
- Salt, to taste (I used about 1 tablespoon)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Yellow Onion, cut into wedges
- 1 cup Carrots, chopped
- 3 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into wedges
- 1/4 cup Chicken Stock
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Prepare the chicken and vegetables
- In a small bowl, mix together the seven spice, salt, sumac and garlic
- Using your hands, rub the chicken generously, back and front and all over, with the spice mixture, then set aside
- Next, toss the potatoes in the spice mixture and set aside
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet (or oven safe skillet) over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Once the oil is hot, carefully place the chicken skin-side down in an even layer, and the potatoes
- Cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes, until the skin is crispy, then remove and set aside
- Cook the potatoes until crispy on the outside, about 2-3 minutes on each side
- While the chicken and potatoes are being sautéed, toss together the carrots and onions with the spice mixture.
- Remove the potatoes from the pan and add the carrots and onions, cooking for about 5 mins (or until slightly charred)
- Turn the heat off
- Using tongs or a spatula, arrange the vegetables in your large oven-safe skillet (or in an oven-safe baking dish), then nestle in the chicken, skin-side up.
- Pour in 1/4 cup chicken stock
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the bottom third of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the carrots are tender and can be poked easy with a fork
- Serve warm
Your oven is divided into thirds. Visually imagine the thirds as: Top third, Middle and Bottom third. When I refer to the bottom third, it means place your rack in the lower half of your oven, closer to the heat.