Spicy Blackened Chicken Legs With Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
I was so happy to have the opportunity to receive and review a cookbook dedicated to one-pan oven meals. My life is very hectic during the midweek especially, as many of you can relate and being able to do some simple prep and then letting the oven do the rest of the work is my idea of a great midweek meal. That is what Julia Konovalova’s book The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook is all about. Complete meals from breakfasts to delicious and unique desserts, using your sheet pan, Dutch oven or roasting pan.
When it comes to the layout of the cookbook I have to say it’s quite organised and it’s what you would organically thing of when you think of recipe succession. It’s starts with breakfasts and ends with desserts which to me makes sense and follows the sequence of many recipe books I have read and own.
I loved that there are pictures and visuals in full colour and full page for each recipe. I’m very visual and I like to see what the recipe is supposed to look like. I think that her photography is true to the end result of each recipe. I am more than a novice cook in the kitchen and I know how to tweak or read between the lines when it comes to certain methods and am able to figure out how to make the recipes look like the pictures as well. I will give you an example. My friend made the same recipe and noticed that her chicken didn’t look like the picture in the book or my picture of the recipe I posted. I know she is a great cook but because I have a little experience in reading recipes and creating them I have learned a few things when it comes to technique and what a specific dish should look like. For example most blackened dishes are heavily coated with the blackening seasoning or sauce. So when I read and review books, I read with the view of someone who doesn’t do this for a living and is just trying to get a meal on the table for their family, and I try to write my recipes in the same way.
The original recipe said to rub the marinade all over the chicken and that is very accurate. In the picture the chicken looks slathered with it though and coated heavily with the marinade and so that is what I did. Now my friend and many like her may not have realised this as they are following the recipe as written. That being said - does the flavour change much because of that? Absolutely not. The recipe is fantastic and the directions are very clear and the ingredient list and measurements are specific and very easy to read and prepare. If you didn’t understand to slather the chicken with a heavy coating of the marinade, it’s ok. The flavours are still there, the chicken is still fabulous but it just might not look exactly like the picture in the book.
I appreciate that all of Julia’s recipes also have a note which I find in any cookbook - a very valuable part of a recipe. They provide alternative ingredients you need in you want to make any substitutions, technique modifications, pan size options, notes about doubling the recipe etc. These are very very helpful and also allow some flexibility when it comes to recipes in general. What I truly love about this cook book is her ingredients. This is a book you can use for everyday cooking. Recipes are approachable and ingredients are simple to find many of them are very basic pantry ingredients especially when it comes to the spices. That makes this book the perfect book for all cooks - novice and more experienced alike. For the novice cook, the simplicity of ingredients and techniques in the book are encouraging for them to get into the kitchen more, with less intimidation. And for the more experienced cook - these simple recipes are just the thing to inspire quick and delicious meals that they can prepare for family in no time. I can cook and follow a recipe quite well and always appreciate a quick way to prepare meals. I want evening meals that are not overly complex and take less time in the kitchen and I fully appreciated this book for that.
This is my personal review for The Ultimate One-Pan Oven Cookbook, by Julia Konovalova © Page Street Publishing, 2018. Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me by the publisher. As always, all opinions are my own.
For the spicy marinade
- ¼ of a medium onion
- 1 green onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
For the chicken and vegetables
- 4 chicken quarter legs, bone in and skin on
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-1½ inch pieces
- 1 small head of broccoli, chopped into small florets and if using the stems chop them into ½-1 inch pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Chopped green onion for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450 ° F, and line a 11x17 inch pan with parchment paper (optional but makes for easy clean up.
- While the oven is preheating, make the spicy marinade. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the marinade and process until smooth.
- Rub the marinade all over the chicken making sure to slather it on thick and place them in the middle of the sheet pan.
- Place the sheet pan with he chicken into the preheated oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes. While the chicken is roasting, prepare the vegetables.
- Remove the chicken from the oven after 20 minutes and add the sweet potatoes and broccoli around the chicken and drizzle the veggies with olive oil and return sheet pan back to oven and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
- Remove from oven and serve garnished with chopped green onions