Chicken roasted over eggplant, apricots and calamata olives.

Chicken roasted over eggplant, apricots and calamata olives. Credit: Marge Perry

It’s time to make something new, different, incredibly delicious — and with really easy clean up. This sheet pan meal has it all: deep, robust flavors, loads of plant nutrients, and a sweet, salty, and savory flavor combination.

You can make this sheet pan dinner with all breasts or thighs, if you prefer. Adjust your cooking time to ensure breasts are cooked to 160 degrees and thighs to 170 degrees. To use an instant-read thermometer, insert it horizontally into the chicken, not touching the bone, until the tip is at the center of the thickest part. When you cook chicken by temperature rather than time, you ensure it is safe — and still tender and juicy.

Chicken with Eggplant and Apricots

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

1 onion, chopped

2 bell peppers

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 (5-pound) chicken, cut up

1/2 cup dried apricots, halved

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, basil, rosemary and tomato paste in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly. Add the eggplant, onion and bell peppers, toss until the paste evenly coats the vegetables and transfer to the sheet pan. Roast for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 teaspoon of the salt, the black pepper, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil; brush over the chicken.

3. Add the apricots, olives and broth to the sheet pan and top with the chicken. Add apricots, olives, broth. Place chicken on top and roast 36-38 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees in the breast and 170 degrees in the thighs.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


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