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"Top Chef" judge and cookbook author Gail Simmons shares a sheet pan chicken recipe using Moroccan-inspired flavors of apricots, olives and lemons.
Gail suggests serving this dish with steamed couscous tossed with any remaining herbs.
- ½ cup halved dried apricots (preferably unsulfured)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus a little extra for seasoning chicken
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon date honey or regular honey, plus more for drizzling
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 bone-in chicken legs or mixture of thighs and drumsticks
- 2 medium onions, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1 large lemon, cut into eighths lengthwise
- ½ cup halved pitted green olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios, plus more for garnish
- ¼ cup fresh mint and/or cilantro
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, soak the apricot pieces in hot water for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the chicken: In a large bowl, combine the cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, salt, pepper, honey and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the chicken, onions, garlic cloves and carrots and toss to coat.
Scatter the lemon and olives over the prepared sheet pan, then add the spiced carrots, onions and garlic cloves. Place the chicken legs on top of the vegetables. Drizzle everything with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a little more honey, if desired.
Roast the chicken in the oven for 45 minutes. Drain the apricots and pat them dry. Sprinkle the apricots and pistachios over the top and continue roasting until the chicken is golden and the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife, about 10 minutes more. Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving with the herbs, torn and sprinkled over everything.