charred chicken with sweet potatoes & oranges

How great is this?  Delicious.  Colorful.  Nutritious.  All presented beautifully on a single platter.  Add a green salad on the side and that’s it.  Dinner is served.  Now that we are on day 29 of our 30-day challenge, I thought that this would be an appropriate post.  Consider this to be a suggestion of the type of healthy meal that we can all enjoy as we move forward with our healthy eating lifestyle.  Just a suggestion.

Start off by baking the sweet potatoes.  You can choose “mini” sweet spuds, as I have here, or use one or two large potatoes.  Just use the equivalent of about 16 ounces to be sure to have enough to go around.  While the potatoes are baking, get the chicken soaking in the lemon and garlic marinade.

Prepare the chickpea, olive & feta topping and set it aside.

The chicken thighs are browned in an ovenproof skillet (on the skin side only) until they are well-charred.  They are then finished off in a hot oven until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F.

Once the chicken and potatoes are done, the orange slices are browned in the same pan in all of those delicious chicken drippings.  Arrange it all on a large platter beginning with the sweet potatoes.  Top it all off with some of the chickpea salad.  You won’t need all of the chickpea salad on the platter.  Just offer the extra as you serve.  Of course, this recipe can be doubled for a larger crowd.  You won’t need to double the chickpea salad …there will be plenty.


charred chicken with sweet potatoes & oranges

Adapted from Nate Appleman in Bon Appétit

Servings 4 servings


  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 ounces sweet potatoes, scrubbed (5-6 small or 1-2 large)
  • 3 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 navel orange, thinly sliced plus wedges for serving) (or 1 blood orange)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 1/2 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted & sliced (3 ounces when weighed with pits)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.  Prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork and roast on a small parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet until tender, about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on size.   Let sit until cool enough to handle.

  2. Place chicken in a large bowl and season with salt.  Add garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Toss to combine. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes or cover and chill up to 12 hours.  Remove chicken from marinade, draining off any excess; discard marinade.  Set chicken aside.

  3. Toss chickpeas, olives & feta with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a large bowl; season chickpea salad with salt.  Set aside.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high.  Cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is very brown (it should get very dark; as long as you don’t smell it outright burning it will be all the better with some char), about 5 minutes.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast, keeping skin side down, until cooked through, 18–22 minutes. The internal temperature at the thickest part of the thigh should be at least 165°.  

  5. About 1 minute before removing chicken from oven, toss rosemary sprigs into skillet.  Remove from the oven.  Place chicken, skin side up, on a plate along with rosemary sprigs.  Set skillet over medium-high.  Cook orange slices just until golden and slightly softened, about 30 seconds per side.  Transfer to plate with chicken.

  6. Tear open sweet potatoes and arrange big sections on a large platter.  Place chicken, along with any accumulated juices, around the sweet potatoes, then top with orange slices, rosemary leaves and some of the chickpea salad.  Squeeze orange wedges over everything when at the table.  Offer additional chickpea salad when serving.

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