Give The Lady A Pan!

There was a small article in the Dallas Morning News this past Wednesday called, “Pan Lets You Cook Like a Pro”. Well, I wanted to see how I could cook like a pro, so I read the article which was all about a pan some call a jellyroll pan or a sheet pan. Chances are, you already have one of these pans in your kitchen. I have one that I have used for years as a back-up cookie sheet and for actually making the occasional sponge cake. I never even thought about using it to cook a whole meal!  Now of course, sheet pan dinners are very popular these days, and for good reason –  once your pan is in the oven, your work is done and clean-up is a breeze!

You could actually fix every meal of the day, including desserts, in a jelly roll pan. The article in the paper also mentioned that these pans are great for cooking bacon because the rolled edge prevents spillovers. Just lay the bacon on the pan and bake in a 450 degrees oven for five minutes, or until it gets crispy. You can also make a big batch of brownies or even one giant sandwich or pizza – the possibilities are endless!

Here’s a sheet pan recipe I fixed recently that was easy prep, quick clean up, and most importantly, delicious.

Herb-Roasted Drumsticks with Potatoes

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (I used baby reds, unpeeled and quartered.)
  • I medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus a pinch divided
  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 2 teaspoons of your favorite herb seasoning blend

Position the racks in upper and lower thirds of your oven; preheat to 450 degrees. Coat your sheet pan with cooking spray. (For easier clean up, place parchment paper or foil on the bottom of the pan and spray with cooking spray.)

Toss the potatoes, onion, oil, rosemary, thyme, ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl, and then spread evenly in the prepared pan. Add the chicken to the bowl, and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons herb seasoning and the remaining salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.

Roast the chicken and veggies on the bottom rack, stirring once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a drumstick without touching bone, registers 165 degrees, and the potatoes are tender; about 30 minutes. Move the pan to the upper rack and turn the broiler to high. Broil until the chicken starts to brown which will be about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can make a sauce of 1 teaspoon herb seasoning blend, 6 tablespoons of sour cream and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to serve with your meal.

One pan – one whole meal. Your sheet pan will be your new best friend in the kitchen. To quote the author of the Dallas Morning News article, “This pan will last your whole life, so leave it to your favorite cook in your will.”

I bet some of you have discovered “the pan” too. Do you have any favorite sheet pan recipes to share with us? Please comment below.


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