Sheet Pan Chicken with Figs and Bread Salad

Have we discussed Food52 before? We certainly have. I once worked with a woman who referred to Food52 as her “love language” and I have to say, that’s a pretty good way to put it. You can read the origin story here but essentially it is a great source of recipes, as is the weekly newsletter you can subscribe to. The first Food52 recipe I used was for macaroni peas, which is a very reliable nothing-in-the-pantry-except-oops-yes-actually-there-is recipe.

I hadn’t paid much attention to Food52 in a while, mainly because we’d been grilling a lot over the summer (sigh…farewell, summer) and I’d been availing myself of Blue Apron every other week. But I’ve suspended Blue Apron for the rest of the year and clearly grilling season is over (here, at least), and when the weather starts to fall apart it’s good to try new recipes. It’s definitely tempting to make lasagna and macaroni and cheese all winter long but a little veg here and there certainly never hurt anyone!

I adore sheet pan dinners, adore them. They are perfect for cold weather and satisfy the need for something roasty, but they’re typically very easy to assemble. You can load up on veg if you want and there’s literally no vegetable that is not vastly improved by roasting. There is one slightly tricky thing about sheet pan recipes, which is that you will want to adhere fairly closely to the called-for ingredients; variations in the size and type of meat and veg can throw your cooking temps and times off enough to bork the result.

Food52’s sheet pan chicken with figs and bread salad appealed to me because I liked the addition of figs and because it calls for arugula, which my husband really likes. Chicken drumsticks are very inexpensive (a bonus, particularly when you buy them in bulk and freeze them off in portions). When I make this recipe, I make a bit more vinaigrette than the recipe states; I’ve doubled it in the past but that proves to be a bit too much (though of course you can use it for something else another day!). You will also want to toss the bread in the chicken drippings and more vinaigrette during the cooking time – otherwise, the bread will get too crunchy.

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