A sheet pan full of roast chicken, kale and butternut squash promised a satisfying, nutritious meal with minimal cleanup. However, in order to combine sturdy squash, dark leafy greens, and chicken in a single pan, we’d need to get them to cook at the same rate.
We used bone-in split chicken breasts, which contain less fat than a whole chicken and wouldn’t smother the vegetables underneath and cause them to steam. Halving the breasts assisted in even cooking.
A simple sage marinade seasoned both the chicken and vegetables. In just 25 minutes, we had crisp-skinned chicken, tender but not mushy squash, and lightly crispy kale. A sprinkling of dried cranberries added fiber and a sweet-tart chew to the mix.
We topped our chicken with a drizzle of light, creamy yogurt sauce accented with orange zest and garlic to bring the dish into harmony. Both curly and Lacinato kale will work.
ONE-PAN CHICKEN WITH KALE AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Start to finish: 1 hour
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons honey
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup organic plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon water
7 garlic cloves, peeled (6 whole, 1 minced)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
8 ounces kale, stemmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (6 cups)
8 shallots, peeled and halved
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons paprika
4 (8- to 10-ounce) organic bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed of all visible fat and halved crosswise
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 F. Whisk oil, sage, honey, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in large bowl until well combined. In separate bowl whisk together yogurt, water, minced garlic, orange zest, and 1 tablespoon oil mixture, then season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
Vigorously squeeze and massage kale with hands in large bowl until leaves are uniformly darkened and slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Add squash, shallots, cranberries, whole garlic cloves, and 1/4 cup oil mixture and toss to combine. Whisk paprika into remaining oil mixture, then add chicken to oil mixture and toss to coat.
Spread vegetable mixture in single layer on rimmed baking sheet, then place chicken, skin side up, on top of vegetables. Bake until chicken registers 160 F, 25 to 35 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.
Remove skin from chicken and discard if desired. Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Toss vegetables with any accumulated chicken juices and transfer to platter with chicken. Drizzle 1/4 cup yogurt sauce over chicken and vegetables and serve, passing remaining yogurt sauce separately.