1 Minute Garlic Pan Sauce Transforms Spicy Chicken Bake
When frying food, air circulation is everything. That’s why we prefer low-edged baking sheets rather than baking pans. They speed up cooking and increase browning in our trays in the evening.
But in some cases, a little crowding on the pan can be beneficial, such as in this spicy chicken alla diavolo from our “Tuesday Nights Mediterranean” book, which features weeknight-friendly meals from the region. After tossing boneless, skin-on chicken parts with plenty of red pepper flakes and thyme, we arrange the meat in a circle around eight whole, peeled cloves of garlic.
Roast the chicken in a 475 degree F oven until they are deep brown, but the cloves in the center are protected from burning in the high heat. Instead, they become softer and sweeter – perfect for mashing into a paste to mix with the chicken’s juices for a tasty sauce that’s ready in just a minute. Mixing lemon zest and peperoncini into the sauce gives it an extra kick.
Adding broccoli to the pan makes it a complete one-pan dinner that comes together in well under an hour. Just be careful not to cut the broccoli pieces too small. Keeping them in large 3-inch pieces will prevent them from overcooking. And use only the broccoli crowns, not the lower parts of the stems; the crowns do not need to be peeled and are quick and easy to prepare.
Chicken alla Diavola with broccoli
Start to finish: 45 minutes Portions: 4
1 tablespoon dried thyme 1¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes Kosher salt and ground black pepper Four 12-ounce boneless, skin-on chicken breasts or 3 pounds boneless, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 pounds broccoli florets, cut into 3-inch florets 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for serving ½ cup chopped drained peperoncini ¼ cup lightly packed fresh oregano, chopped
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F with a rack in the center position. In a large bowl, stir together the thyme, pepper flakes and 2 teaspoons of salt and black pepper. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the mixture on all sides of the chicken. To the remaining spice mixture in the bowl, add ¼ cup oil and broccoli, then toss to coat.
Place the garlic in the center of a rimmed baking sheet, then arrange the chicken, skin side up, around the garlic; this placement helps prevent the garlic from burning during roasting. Place the broccoli in an even layer around the chicken. Roast until the thickest part of the breasts (if using) reaches 160 degrees F and the thickest part of the thighs (if using) reaches 175 degrees F, about 30 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer the chicken and broccoli to a serving dish. Transfer the garlic to a medium bowl and mash with a fork into a coarse paste. Carefully pour ¼ cup of water onto the baking sheet and scrape up any browned bits. Pour the pan juices over the garlic and add the lemon zest and peperoncini, then whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli, then sprinkle with oregano. Serve with lemon wedges.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For more recipes, go to Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street at 177milkstreet.com/ap