Sheet -Pan Chicken with Sourdough and Bacon is a one-dish meal that is pure comfort food and absolutely delicious.
It’s going to hit 89 degrees here in the Piedmont of North Carolina today. Even though we’re a few days into fall, piles of pumpkins have started to appear and Halloween candy is in disappearing off shelves already, it still feels like summer. Heck, the trees outside my window still boast vibrant green leaves.
So tell me. Why does my grocery store have a selection of sidewalk salt, snow shovels, hats, gloves and windshield scrapers prominently displayed in the front lobby? Why is my driveway filled with brown, fallen leaves?
I can’t deny the fact that cooler weather is on the way and soon I’ll be putting on a jacket before heading outdoors. I may not like it, but there it is. So, too, am I embracing the culinary inner clock reset. So much so that when Food & Wine made this recipe their ‘cook the cover’ dish, I was happy to oblige.
What made it easy to say yes to the chicken when I’ve said no to many cover features, is the fact that it’s a simple dish, includes ingredients that most cooks have on hand already and keeps the cost down (my chicken legs were $.99/pound). Win. Win. Win.
As far as a process goes, this was easy. Slice, scrub, cut, dice, sprinkle, arrange, roast. eat.
As far as the roasting went, 45 minutes wasn’t near enough for my hefty chicken leg quarters. I had to add another half hour to get them fully cooked. I also forgot to get fresh oregano so had to opt for sprinkling the croutons with the dry version before tossing it all together.
Think Thanksgiving dinner on a sheet pan. After spending 45+ minutes being saturated in chicken juices, onions, herbs, and seasoning, the croutons taste decidedly like stuffing. Add to that the stellar flavor of bacon (even though it doesn’t get crispy but is nice and chewy) and it’s a winner dinner. I loved the flavors. I loved the fact that it was so easy to pull together and only gave me one pan to clean up. I love the aroma it sent through the house while it was roasting.
Yup, it’s a keeper.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
That being said, I would do two things differently. First, I would melt the butter and drizzle it over the bread along with the olive oil so it ‘touches’ everything on the bottom more fully. Second, I would forget the potato and include more bread cubes. The crouton/stuffing mixture is heavenly and with as much juice as the chicken let go, having more bread to absorb it would keep the pieces from getting as soggy as they did. Want potatoes? Serve them mashed on the side.
Sourdough boule: $3.99
Slab bacon: $5.99
Baking potato: $1.55
Red onion: $1.59
Chicken legs: $6.49
Sheet Pan Chicken with Sourdough and Bacon Recipe
- ½ pound sourdough boule, cut or torn into 2-inch pieces
- ½ pound slab bacon, cut into 1-by- ½-inch lardons
- 1 large baking potato—scrubbed, halved crosswise and cut into ¾-inch wedges
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 4 oregano sprigs
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt Black pepper
- 6 whole chicken legs
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread, bacon, potato, onion, butter, oregano and crushed red pepper with the olive oil and season generously with salt and black pepper. Spread in an even layer.
- Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and arrange on the bread mixture.
- Roast the chicken and bread mixture for about 45 minutes, until the bread is crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the chicken registers 160°. Serve.