Winner, winner, chicken dinner that’s oh-so-simple

Making a complete dinner in one pan can be a time-saver, especially if you serve the meal in the same pan you baked it in.

Here are two chicken dinners that are special enough to serve on a Friday night or a holiday. The keys are timing so ingredients cook properly and using enough liquid (the marinades) to keep everything moist and flavorful.

Use any large baking or roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. If your pan is thin, use a baking sheet underneath to prevent scorching. Be sure to use a metal pan for the Citrus Chicken with Pita and Kale Chips. If you don’t have one that is large enough, make the kale on a baking sheet and make the rest of the recipe in any large baking pan.


Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes
Serves 6

1/4 cup plus 2 tsp. olive oil, plus extra for pan
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped garlic
1 tsp. plus 1/4 tsp. paprika, smoked or regular
1 tsp. minced lemon zest
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
4 lbs. chicken parts (with skin and bone)
3 lbs. russet potatoes, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 lb. tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 cup pitted Greek olives, green or black
3 Tbs. chopped parsley

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix 1/4 cup oil, juice, garlic, 1 tsp. paprika, zest, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Marinate chicken in that mixture while the potatoes bake.

Grease a large baking pan (at least 2 inches deep). Layer half of potatoes on bottom. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Repeat. Scatter onion slices across top. Cover pan with foil. Bake about 50-60 minutes until potatoes are somewhat softened.

Remove from oven. Take off foil. Scatter tomatoes and olives on top. Place chicken (skin side up) on top, spooning marinade over all. Loosely cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp. paprika. Bake uncovered about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked (timing will vary). Sprinkle with parsley.


Citrus Chicken with Pita and Kale Chips
Serves 6

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus extra for pan
2 tsp. salt, divided
2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
2 tsp. minced lemon zest
2 tsp. minced orange zest
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. sugar
4 lbs. chicken parts (with bone and skin)
1 lb. kale
4-6 thick pita or flatbreads (about 1/2 inch thick)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 orange, thinly sliced


Heat oven to 450 degrees. In large bowl, mix 3/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, the zests, juices, red pepper flakes and sugar. Marinate chicken in the mixture while the kale is cooking (see below). Remove chicken and reserve ½ cup of marinade. Put chicken back in the remaining mixture.

Grease large metal baking pan (at least 2 inches deep). Discard hard stems from kale. Chop the rest into 1- to 2-inch pieces. Place in pan. Toss with 2 Tbs. oil, 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper. Bake, turning occasionally until kale is very crispy (about 40-50 minutes). Remove from pan. Cool in single layer.

Grease pan again. Lower heat to 400 degrees. Cut pita in eighths and layer on pan bottom. Scatter onion over pita. Place chicken skin side up on top. Cover with the chicken’s marinade. Bake 45 minutes (basting with reserved marinade every 15 minutes). Cover chicken and pita with lemon and orange slices. Baste. Bake until chicken is cooked, about 45 minutes (timing will vary), basting as needed. Top with kale.




Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer. She blogs about her food at Contact Faith at