Yes, this chicken dinner is a winner. With 10 minutes of prep in the morning or night before, you can come home, place everything on a sheet try and roast everything to golden and crispy crunchy perfection in around 30 minutes. While you’ve probably had roasted chicken thighs before, I’m guessing you may be new to cooking with Yuzo Kosho, the Japanese citrus and chili paste that you’ll want to use in everything. No time to find Yuzo Kosho? No worries. I include instructions for a lemon/lime/jalapeno substitution that’s delicious as well.
Sheet pan dinners are popular because we all love the idea of throwing all your dinner ingredients on a tray, sticking it in the oven and pulling out a beautiful, perfectly cooked dinner half an hour later. In reality, most foods you’d want to eat together require different cooking times, which means adding or removing items on the sheet pan along the way. I designed this recipe so everything can cook together at the same time without any fussing.
While the chicken and potatoes cook, you can make a simple salad or saute some spinach or other greens to round out the meal. I found this to be preferable to adding vegetables to the sheet pan (you need space for browning!) or requiring a 2nd pan with different cooking times which seems to be doing to much.
Why It Works
Prepped for success. I tested this recipe 3 times to make it as fool-proof and simple as possible. Things get started with an easy marinade that comes together in less than 10 minutes and ensures that the chicken thighs will be well seasoned from within and extra juicy. The potatoes go cut-side down on an oiled tray for maximum crisping potential. No flipping required! Roasting the chicken on top of the potatoes means that some of the drippings soak into the potatoes for even deeper flavor. Real talk – I think these are the best potatoes I’ve ever made. Seriously.
The right stuff. Yuzo kosho is salty, spicy and aromatic. Together with anchovies, fresh citrus and honey you get a balance of tangy, salty, savory and sweet flavors with just a bit of heat. If you’re not sure about anchovies, they will mellow in the oven and just provide some background umami (savory) flavor that keep things interesting. Don’t forget, they are what Caesar salad so delicious!
What is Yuzu..and Kosho?
Yuzu is an East Asian citrus fruit with a flavor that’s close to grapefruit and a bit like Meyer lemon and mandarins. The juice and rind are popular in Japanese cooking – it’s in ponzu sauce, made into vinegar and used as a flavoring in general.
Yuzokosho is a paste made by fermenting yuzu zest with fresh chilies and salt. “Kosho” refers to the chilies added. I’ve seen recipes for cranberry kosho and other citrus variations but I think buying a jar of the traditional stuff is a good place to start.
I first purchased yuzu kosho on Amazon here. You get a green version made with green chilies and a red version made with red chilies (which I haven’t tried yet). You can find it online a number of places or at Japanese markets, like Mitsuwa.
Your New Favorite Flavor Booster
You can add yuzo kosho to a salad dressing or mashed with avocados for toast or guacamole. It’s great with shrimp and fish and also mixed with oil and roasted with broccoli or other vegetables. You could even added it to pasta sauce or any place where you want a bit of heat and to brighten up flavors. My home girl, Rima, went to Japan in November and checked several stores to bring me back 2 jars. Bless her! I’m already well into my 2nd. Yep, I’m a big fan.
Do I Have a Half Sheet Pan?
A sheet pan is an aluminum baking sheet that has a low 1 inch edge around the perimeter. They are used in commercial and home kitchens and come in standard sizes. The half sheet (18×13 in) is the largest size that will fit in most home ovens. You can find them at places like TJ Maxx, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and of course online. I use mine regularly as they’re also great for roasting vegetables and baking cookies. If you don’t have one, NBD you can use 2 smaller pans.
Yuzo Kosho Roasted Chicken & Potatoes
Citrus-chili marinated chicken roasts together with potatoes until everything is crisp and crunchy.
You’ll want to marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours to let the flavors get in there.
It’s important that the potatoes are in a single layer. If you don’t have a big enough sheet pan, you can divide the chicken and potatoes over 2 smaller pans.
To substitute for yuzu kosho, use a microplane to zest a lemon and lime and grate the outside of jalapeno (no seeds) and mix them together with ¼ tsp of salt.
- 2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (4 pieces)
- 2 tsp yuzo kosho (or zest of a lemon, lime & jalapeno plus ¼ tsp salt)
- 1 lemon
- 8 anchovies packed in oil (1 2oz. tin)
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 Tbsp oil (preferably olive, avocado or ghee)
- 2 lbs fingerling or other small potatoes
- 1 tsp sea salt
- lemon wedges (optional for serving)
- small bowl (to mix marinade)
- kitchen shears (scissors)
- knife to cut lemon
- 1 gallon size plastic bag (for marinating)
- bowl or plate (to contain the bag)
- half sheet pan (18×13 inch rimmed baking sheet)
- tongs (optional)
- Add the anchovies to the small bowl (you don’t need the oil they come in) and use the kitchen shears to chop them up into small pieces for about 30 seconds. Add 2 tsps of yuzo kosho or the zest/jalapeno/salt substitute to the bowl. Add the juice of 1 lemon and 2 tsps of honey to the bowl and mix to combine everything with a fork.
- Use the kitchen shears to trim the excess skin hanging over each chicken thigh (see photo guide) and place them in the plastic bag. Once they are in the bag, wash your hands then pour the marinade over the chicken in the bag. Squeeze out the air, seal the bag then move the chicken in the sealed bag around a bit so they all have contact with the marinade. Place the bag in the bowl or plate and move it to the refrigerator to marinate at least 4 and up to 24 hours. Roast
- Take the chicken out of the fridge to warm up to room temp while you prepare the potatoes. Make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 425 deg F.
- Slice the fingerling potatoes in half lengthwise. If you’re using another potato, you want slices about ½ inch thick. Pour the 1 Tbsp of oil directly onto the sheet pan and spread it over the entire surface using your hands. (This will keep the potatoes from sticking). Add the sliced potatoes to the pan, drizzle on another 1 TBSP of oil and sprinkle on 1 tsp of salt. Use your hands to mix everything together so the potatoes are coated with oil and salt. Arrange the potatoes cut side down on the sheet pan in a single layer.
- Take the chicken thighs out of the bag and place them skin side up directly on top of the potatoes in the four corners of the pan. (The edges will get the most heat on the pan so you want the chicken there) Take a paper towel and blot the tops of each chicken thigh. (You want them relatively dry so they brown and crisp).
- Place the tray in the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan and roast for another 12 to 17 minutes. Check for doneness on the largest chicken thigh by either cutting into the middle and seeing if the juices are clear or inserting a meat thermometer and reaching 165 deg F. Once the chicken is done, remove the thighs from the tray. Use the spatula to check the potatoes. If you would like them a bit crispier, you can return the tray to the oven for another 5 minutes. The potatoes that were under the chicken will likely be a little softer from the drippings but super delicious. Enjoy!
I like to reheat leftovers in the toaster oven. You can also freeze cooked chicken and potatoes for a later meal.