After a whirlwind week in Copenhagen and Sweden with my dad, who was visiting from Canada, and partner, filled with food, food, and more food (plus plenty of bike riding, of course), I found myself full of ideas and itching to get back to my kitchen. Travelling never fails to inspires what I eat, make, and share on this space and in my cookbooks.
I confess, this recipe looks very un-Scandinavian, which it is–the taste and composition are informed by another avenue I draw from: cookbooks.
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a conversation that was part of the U.K. cookbook tour for Ottolenghi SIMPLE, where I saw Yotam Ottolenghi and one of his longtime collaborators, Tara Wigley, cook from and chat about Ottolenghi’s new book. I immediately started flagging pages of my copy when I got home, and the following day marched to the kitchen to begin cooking. First, I made a tremendously easy and delicious baked rice with confit tomatoes and garlic, followed by adorable little patties with sumac yogurt sauce, and a flavour-packed roasted squash with sweetcorn salsa.
A common thread within this book (though in none of the recipes I just shared above!) is the use of harissa paste, which is easily accessible now thanks in big part to food writers like Ottolenghi who are giving us all recipes that use it. And I’m going to do the same here with this sheet-pan dinner/packable lunch. The flavours are inspired by SIMPLE, likewise its ease.
You can always see my travel adventures and everyday meals on my Instagram page (@allisondaycooks), and find one more use for that jar of harissa–which you can actually make yourself–below with this sheet-pan dinner.
Sheet-Pan Harissa Chicken and Sweet Potatoes with Lime Yogurt Recipe
This gently spicy chicken tray bake is enlivened with harissa paste and a zingy lime yogurt dollop. Sweet potatoes and chicken are the base of this recipe, roasted and served on crisp leaf lettuce for a hot-cold (or cold-cold, if you make the chicken and sweet potatoes ahead and serve chilled) dinner or lunch that’s ready in about 45 minutes. This meal also makes good meal-prep lunches as everything can be made in advance. If prepping and packing for lunch, cool, then chill the chicken and sweet potatoes before adding to your container on top of the lettuce to avoid the greens wilting.
Harissa Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
1 (3- to 4-lb) whole organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 medium (700 g) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2- 2-inch rounds
1 large onion, sliced
2 Tbsp harissa paste (I used the homemade version from Whole Bowls; store-bought also good)
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Zest of 1 lime
1 Tbsp lime juice, plus more for serving
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/4 tsp salt
1 large head or 2 small heads red leaf lettuce, torn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Harissa Chicken and Sweet Potatoes:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Add all chicken and sweet potatoes ingredients to a large rimmed baking sheet and toss to combine, coating evenly. Spread into a single layer and arrange chicken skin side up.
- Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through.
- Shred and slice chicken, if desired and once cool enough for you to handle, or keep on the bone for serving.
- In a small bowl, mix to combine all lime yogurt ingredients.
- On a large platter or on 4 plates, arrange a bed of lettuce. Top with sweet potatoes and chicken, and then dollop over lime yogurt and sprinkle with cilantro. Season with additional lime juice and olive oil, and serve. See headnote for lunch packing and/or make-ahead tip.