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Sheet Pan Cajun Chicken with Vegetables and Cheesy Grits

Sheet Pan Cajun Chicken and Vegetables


  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings

Description

Perfectly seasoned Cajun Chicken & potatoes with plenty of veggies and Cheesy Grits. The MOST tender and flavorful chicken and melt-in-your-mouth potatoes.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons + 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 12 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 34 lbs red potatoes, washed, unpeeled, and cut into quarters
  • 1 recipe Cajun Chicken Spice Rub
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 large red bell peppers, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch wide slices
  • 2 lbs asparagus: snap in half and discard bottom portion of the stalk
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 to 6 cups swiss chard (or spinach or kale), leaves removed from the stalks
  • 1 medium lemon, cut in half

FOR SERVING:


Instructions

  1. Stir 2 tablespoons of the salt into the buttermilk. Lay the chicken in a 9×13 rectangle baking dish. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken and turn the chicken to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 36. (At least 24 hours is best.)
  2. Prep your ingredients before you begin: wash and cut the potatoes into quarters, mix up the Cajun Chicken Spice Rub, wash and slice red bell peppers, break asparagus spears in half, mince shallot, jalapeño, and garlic, and tear the Swiss chard leaves from the stalks.
  3. Heat the oven to 425 degrees and line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment.
  4. Fill a large saucepan about 2/3 full of water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the quartered potatoes and boil for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander in the sink, leaving them to cool a bit while you prep the chicken.
  5. Lay chicken thighs out on paper towels and blot the excess buttermilk (Don’t try and get them dry. Just blot the excess.). Lay the chicken out on the sheet pan and sprinkle with a generous amount of Cajun Chicken Spice Rub rubbing the spices into the chicken. Flip the chicken pieces over and repeat on the other side so that they are completely covered in spices.
  6. Put the potatoes back into the pan you boiled them in and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons Cajun Spice Rub. Toss to coat the potatoes in oil and seasoning. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the sheet pan next to the chicken. Sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp more salt. (No need to wash out the pan yet – you can use it for asparagus and red peppers.)
  7. Place the pan inside the preheated oven and roast for 45 – 50 minutes. (To know if the chicken and potatoes are done, poke a fork into one of the potatoes to see if it’s tender. Cut into one piece of chicken, close to the bone. If the juices run clear and the inside of the chicken isn’t pink, the chicken is done.)

While the chicken and potatoes are cooking:

  1. Add the red bell pepper pieces and asparagus to the same bowl you used to season the potatoes and add 1 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning, and 1 tsp salt. Toss the vegetables around inside the bowl to thoroughly coat with the oil and spices.
  2. Prepare cheesy grits.

When the chicken and potatoes are done cooking:

  1. Remove chicken and potatoes from the oven and turn the temperature up to 450 degrees. Put the pieces of chicken and potatoes on a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour about 3 tablespoons of the liquid from the sheet pan into a large skillet or sauce pan. Discard any remaining liquid that’s in the sheet pan. Discard the foil or parchment liner and re-line with a fresh sheet.
  2. Dump the red peppers and asparagus on the same sheet pan you cooked the chicken and potatoes on and spread the vegetables out into an single layer. Put the pan back in the oven and roast for about 10 minutes, just until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
  3. Place the pan with the chicken cooking liquid on a burner set to medium. Add the minced shallot, jalapeño, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the Swiss chard and sauté, stirring often, until the greens are wilted, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the greens with some salt and the juice from one half of the fresh lemon. Toss to coat.
  5. When the peppers and asparagus are fork tender, but still crisp, remove them from the oven. Squeeze the juice from the other half of the fresh lemon juice over the cooked red peppers and asparagus and toss to coat.

TO SERVE: Spoon some Cheesy Grits on a plate. Top the grits with a spoonful of Swiss chard and a piece of chicken. Serve potatoes, asparagus, and red peppers alongside the chicken and grits.