Juicy chicken thighs are coated in a bold tomato rub with lots of fresh garlic and warm, earthy spices including smoked paprika and cumin, and brightened with a hint of lemon juice. The whole thing comes together in a flash — simply chop some veggies and season everything with the tomato rub. Toss it into a sheet pan and roast.
There is nothing complicated about the ingredient list either. You just need some spices, chickpeas, vegetables, and chicken. For more heat, use hot smoked paprika instead. It lends itself well to customizations, so feel free to swap out carrots for other root veggies like beets or parsnips, or add potatoes or sweet potatoes for more heft.
While we did start out piling everything on one sheet pan (against out better judgement), after 30 minutes in the oven, we transferred the chicken thighs on another prepared baking sheet and covered with foil. The reason being, the vegetables were steaming instead of roasting. The veggies went back into the oven to continue cooking until fork tender and beginning to brown slightly, another 10-15 minutes. As the vegetable tray was roasting, we then popped the thighs, uncovered, under the broiler (we have a 2-oven stove).
Next time, we may start with dividing everything between 2 sheet pans from the start. You may prep ahead by chopping the vegetables and making the sauce. Just refrigerate them until ready to begin cooking.
FYI, we are using boneless skinless chicken thighs here, but bone-in thighs or boneless skinless breasts would work as well. Since boneless, skinless chicken breasts cook in about 18 minutes in the oven, you will need to roast your vegetables for about 10 minutes first, then add the breasts. Otherwise, the carrots won’t cook in time.
Sheet Pan Smoked Paprika Chicken with Chickpeas
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 2 large lemons, about ½ cup
- 5 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 5 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. Aleppo pepper flakes or granules
Chicken And Vegetables
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 6 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 medium onions, halved and cut into ½ inch slices
- 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, drained
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat if necessary
- Position one rack in the center of the oven and another one 4 or 5 inches under the broiler. Preheat the oven to 425°F
- Prepare the tomato rub: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, paprika, and Aleppo pepper. Whisk well to combine.
- Prepare the chicken and vegetables: Lightly brush a large sheet pan with some of the olive oil. In a large bowl, combine the carrots, onions, and chickpeas. Season well with salt and black pepper (about ½ teaspoon each). Add 4 tablespoons of the tomato rub and a small drizzle of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon), and mix well to coat. Transfer the mixture to the sheet pan. Set bowl aside for chicken.
- Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and black pepper on both sides. Place the chicken in the reserved bowl and add the remaining tomato mixture, tossing until the chicken is well coated.
- Transfer the chicken to the sheet pan(s) along with the chickpeas and vegetables. Roast on the center rack until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes (ours took more like 45 minutes). Then move the sheet pan up to the top rack directly under the heat and broil until the chicken gains some color, 3 to 4 minutes, watching carefully. The onions and carrots may also gain some char.
- Serve with your favorite rustic bread, if desired.
Adapted from a recipe by Suzy Karadsheh