Over the last few months, I've enjoyed reading the different sheet-pan or pan roasted recipes a few of my friends have so graciously shared on Facebook. They've all looked simply delicious and packed from edge to edge with nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Some of the more notable dishes were chicken fajitas with three kinds of peppers, onions, and chicken. One of my favorites was the sheet pan recipe with root vegetables and chicken...root vegetables like carrots, leeks, onions, and beets. They were seasoned with some of my favorite herbs...oregano, rosemary, and thyme.
A few days ago, I was shopping in the produce section of my neighborhood grocery - Banks in Lone Oak, Kentucky. This season, I've particularly enjoyed the peaches, cantaloupes, blueberries, and occasional watermelon. All have helped keep me hydrated and energized during the hot summer months. As I was looking around, I came across the black plum.
As a young girl, I really enjoyed plums. I loved biting into the tiny fruit with its yummy sweetness. The texture reminded me a lot of the nectarine. So, I picked up about six of their ripe black plums and decided I wanted to make a sheet pan chicken dinner. The flavors blended wonderfully and I've got the recipe, if you're interested.
Cherry Plum pan roasted chicken recipe:
3.5 pounds of chicken - two large breasts (cut in half) and six small chicken thighs (deboned, skinless, and excess fat trimmed).
six black plums (pitted and cut in quarters)
Either Bing cherries (pitted and halved 20-30 count) or dried cherries (I used dried because that's what I had - 1/3 bag).
Red onion (sliced)
five cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 squeezed lemon
6 to 8 sprigs of thyme
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Tablespoon of roasted fennel seed
2 to 3 Tablespoons of honey
1/2 teaspoon of allspice
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Two jalapenos (membrane and seeds removed)
10 - 15 mint leaves
Salt and pepper
Chicken (salt generously and pepper)
Roast the fennel seeds for two minutes in the preheated 400 degree oven. After two minutes, crush and pour in a large mixing bowl.
Marinade: Mix together the following ingredients for the chicken rub
Add to the crushed fennel, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, allspice, red pepper flakes, garlic and chopped jalapeno. Mix together. Add the chicken to the bowl and rub it around the chicken, preferably with your hands.
Line the sheet pan with aluminum foil and add the chicken, plums, (Bing cherries or hold off when using dried cherries), red onion slices, and sprigs of thyme
Drizzle the entire sheet pan with EVOO. Add salt to the entire dish.
Loosely cover the pan and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. After the chicken has reached 165 degrees, take the pan out of the oven and immediately add the dried cherries (if you've gone this route). The heat will allow the cherries to plump up.
After 10 minutes, add the mint and serve. For my side dish, I boiled some small red potatoes until I could pierce with a fork and finished by roasting in the oven.