Sunday mornings are not complete without perusing the New York Times’ What to Cook This Week Column. This luscious tray bake is inspired by Melissa Clark’s Tarragon Chicken. I love tray bakes because they are super easy and lend themselves to improvisation since the repertoire of ingredients that taste great roasted is long. I added parsnips and carrots to the bake and made caramelized lemon slices to serve it with. The lemons remind me of they way you use a lime pickle with indian food. Take a tiny bit of the caramelized rind and flesh then scoop up a bit of chicken and vegetables and voila. Alternatively, you can skip caramelizing and just lay the lemon slices on top of the chicken before putting into the oven. This dish is also delish without the lemons if you are so inclined. I served it with buttermilk horseradish mashed potatoes and it was equally popular with kids and husband so it will be added to the family favorites list.
Tarragon Chicken with Parsnips, Carrots and Caramelized Lemons
Adapted from Melissa Clark
- ½ cup finely chopped tarragon (leaves and tender stems), plus 4 whole sprigs
- 4 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more as needed
- 3 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (skin on)
- 2 large onions, peeled and sliced (about 4 cups)
- 3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into rough 2 inch cubes
- 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch thick batons
- 2 lemons thickly sliced (Meyer if you've got them)
- 4 thyme sprigs
- Step 1 In a large bowl, stir together tarragon, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Add chicken thighs and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours, and up to overnight.
- Step 2 On the day of, sprinkle lemon slices with sugar (just to help caramelization.) Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry slices over high heat for 2-3 minutes until it has a few golden brown spots. Set aside.
- Step 3 Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread onions out on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss well. In a separate bowl, toss parsnips and carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper to coat. Clear spaces on the baking pan, then place chicken pieces in the cleared spaces so the onions surround the chicken. Place parsnips and carrots around the chicken on top of the onions but not covering the chicken. Strew thyme and tarragon sprigs over onions and chicken.
- Step 4 Roast until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. If the chicken skin or onions are not as brown as you’d like, run pan under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes at the end of cooking.
- Step 5 Serve with lemon slices on top.
- Step 6 Place chicken on a platter. Spoon vegetables around the chicken. Tilt the pan to collect all the gorgeous juices that have accumulated and drizzle over the chicken and vegetables and serve.