Of all of the edible heralds of spring, rhubarb would be the rosiest — and essentially the most bitter. After a chilly, grey Northeastern winter, piles of the lipstick-red stalks on the farmers’ market virtually glow, tempting even ambivalent cooks to scoop them proper up.
So what, if of their pure state, the stalks are astringent sufficient to make you wince? With minimal effort (and normally, quite a lot of sugar), rhubarb’s fierceness could be coaxed right into a purr.
This recipe, nevertheless, leans into rhubarb’s savory aspect, tempering its cranky acidity with a bit of little bit of honey and an excellent dose of schmaltz, courtesy of roasting hen. The entire dish is sheet pan-simple, but fully not like most different roast hen recipes, pinker, tangier and extra complicated.
For the prettiest colour, attain for the reddest rhubarb stalks yow will discover. This received’t matter one bit when it comes to taste — inexperienced rhubarb just isn’t inherently much less tasty than pink — but it surely does make the dish much more vivid.
To that very same sheet pan, I added pink onions, which everybody is aware of are actually purple. They collapse into violet heaps among the many nuggets of rhubarb and golden-skinned hen, lending sweetness in addition to depth.
As standard after I’m within the kitchen, I opted for darkish meat, a mixture of bone-in thighs and drumsticks. I at all times choose bone-in hen as a result of the bones give the meat a richer taste when the marrow seeps out whereas roasting. But much more to the purpose, I wish to gnaw on the cartilage and nibble the pores and skin, each unattainable with boneless, skinless items.
If you like chicken, you too can substitute bone-in, skin-on breasts. Just begin checking them 10 minutes earlier since chicken takes much less time to prepare dinner than darkish meat.
After pulling the sheet pan from the oven, give all the things an enormous stir to include the browned bits and hen juices caught to the pan. To me, that is the tastiest a part of any sheet-pan hen recipe, and particularly right here, seasoned with honey-roasted rhubarb, thyme and a bit of coriander.
Then, earlier than serving, be sure that to pattern a bit of rhubarb. If you pucker and squint, drizzle all the things with a bit extra honey.
I wish to serve this with a crackly baguette and possibly some steamed and buttered asparagus on the aspect. After all, springtime stalks style higher in pairs.
Recipe: Sheet-Pan Chicken With Rhubarb and Red Onion
By Melissa Clark
This simple but strong dish celebrates rhubarb’s savory aspect. Here, a little bit of honey, some sliced candy pink onion and the wealthy juices of roasted hen thighs and drumsticks mood its tartness. Serve this dish with a crackly baguette or some rice to catch the tangy sauce on the backside of the pan. It’s the very best half.
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
Total time: 45 minutes
1 3/4 kilos bone-in, skin-on hen thighs and drumsticks (see Tip)
1 teaspoon floor coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt (resembling Diamond Crystal), plus extra as wanted
1/4 teaspoon freshly floor black pepper, plus extra as wanted
1 massive pink onion, reduce into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
5 thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as wanted
8 ounces rhubarb stalks, sliced into 1/2-inch items (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons honey, plus extra to style
1/2 cup cilantro or mint leaves and tender stems, torn
1. Heat oven to 425 levels and line sheet pan with parchment paper. Pat hen dry with paper towels and season throughout with coriander, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
2. Place onion wedges on the ready sheet pan and frivolously season with extra salt and pepper. Add hen and thyme sprigs to the pan and drizzle 3 tablespoons oil over all the things. Toss till effectively coated, then unfold hen and onions in a single layer. Roast for 10 minutes.
3. While the hen is within the oven, mix rhubarb and three tablespoons honey in a medium bowl. Lightly drizzle with oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss till rhubarb is effectively coated.
4. Remove hen from oven and thoroughly spoon rhubarb onto the recent pan across the onions and hen. Continue roasting till the hen is cooked by way of, and the rhubarb and onion are tender and caramelized, 25 to 35 minutes longer, tossing the rhubarb and onions (not the hen) as soon as about midway by way of.
5. Stir the rhubarb and onions very effectively, ensuring to include all of the browned bits and hen juices from the underside of the pan (that is the tastiest half). Then pattern a bit of rhubarb. If it’s very tart, drizzle with a bit of extra honey, tossing effectively. Serve hen with rhubarb-onion combination garnished with herbs.
Tip: You can substitute bone-in, pores and skin on-breasts for the thighs and drumsticks. Just begin checking 10 minutes earlier since chicken takes much less time to prepare dinner than darkish meat.
This article initially appeared in The New York Times.