Why This Recipe Works
Roasted chicken and ratatouille is simplicity on a plate: the flavors of summer in perfect balance. Yet despite its simple nature, the preparation can be onerous, requiring multiple pans and cooking stages for the ratatouille alone. Seeking an easier method, we turned to a sheet pan. Not only would its large surface area accommodate both the chicken and the vegetables, but exposing the food to dry heat would prevent the vegetables from becoming soggy—a hallmark of bad ratatouille. We selected bone-in chicken breasts, which gave us juicy, tender meat without being too fussy or producing too much grease. To get nicely golden skin, we preheated the baking sheet, oiled it to prevent sticking, and placed the chicken, skin side down, on the pan to sear them. We chopped eggplant and zucchini into bite-size pieces and tossed them with canned tomatoes (ideal for year-round cooking), seasoning them with garlic and plenty of thyme to drive home the authentic flavor. We scattered the vegetables opposite the chicken. Halfway through roasting, we flipped the chicken, stirred the vegetables, and added lemon wedges to roast for a flavor boost. Peeking in 5 minutes later, we stirred the vegetables again—they were really beginning to soften—and then once more to ensure that every piece was cooked and all the excess liquid could evaporate. Minutes later, our chicken was ready, the ratatouille was tender and moist but not wet, and we even had juicy roasted lemon wedges to squeeze over everything. All that was missing was some crusty bread.
Total Time: 45 minutes
1 (14.5‐ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
12 ounces eggplant, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 zucchini (6 ounces each), cut into ½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons extra‐virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1½ teaspoons dried
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
4 (10‐ to 12‐ounce) bone‐in split chicken breasts, trimmed
1 lemon, quartered
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to
450 degrees. Toss tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper together in bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt, pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons thyme.
2. Brush remaining 1 tablespoon oil evenly over hot sheet. Place chicken, skin side down, on 1 side of sheet and spread vegetables in single layer on other side. Roast until chicken releases from sheet and vegetables begin to wilt, about 10 minutes.
3. Flip chicken, skin side up, and stir vegetables. Place lemon quarters, cut side down, on sheet. Continue to roast, stirring vegetables occasionally, until chicken registers 160 degrees and vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Remove sheet from oven, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter. Toss vegetables with pan juices, season with salt and pepper to taste, and transfer to platter. Sprinkle parsley over vegetables and serve with roasted lemon wedges.