Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Apples and Brussels Sprouts
Dear Mr. Webster, I hereby formally request that your next edition lists “one pan” as a verb. As in, we are going to one pan it tonight with Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Apples and Brussels Sprouts.
I also see a strong case for one pan, the noun: One pan is the way of easy, healthy dinner life.
And yes, one pan is certainly an adjective too: Rosemary chicken thighs for the one pan dinner win!
No matter what part of speech you declare it (or how the editors behind Webster Dictionary feel about the phrase), one pan is the heartbeat of today’s easy sheet pan chicken dinner recipe.
Complete with servings of fruit (apples), vegetables (Brussels sprouts), and lean protein (chicken thighs with golden, crispy outsides and juicy, tender insides), all tossed in a boss sticky-sweet honey mustard sauce.
Fresh rosemary makes the whole shebang taste seasonally appropriate. It’s cozy and full of harvest flavors, and if you have any apple picking in your future, this recipe is an ideal way to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
True to its place among other one pan greats like Sheet Pan Chicken with Rainbow Vegetables, Maple Dijon Chicken and Vegetables, Sheet Pan Italian Chicken, and Sheet Pan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Apples, and Brussels Sprouts, today’s rosemary chicken thighs offer fast prep and easy clean up.
This recipe is ultra satisfying and offers complex layers of flavor that develop during the high temperature roasting.
The oven tenderizes and concentrates the Brussels sprouts’ flavor. The apples break down in to a jammy-sauce that you’ll want to spoon over everything. The onions become tantalizingly crisp, almost as if they’ve been fried.
And, the rosemary thighs themselves? They may well be my very favorite part. The rosemary perfumes them with flavor, and the skin is so dark and golden, you may never want your baked chicken any other way again.
How to Make Crispy Rosemary Chicken Thighs
This recipe highlights classic comfort food, with a fall twist.
- Chicken. While I love white meat much of the time, in this recipe it’s bone-in, skin on chicken thighs that shine. Thigh meat (especially bone-in thigh meat) is less prone to overcooking, meaning it can withstand high temperature roasting. Bonus: the high temp means you will achieve that scrumptious, crispy skin on the outside and juicy, tender meat on the inside. Chicken thighs are super flavorful and typically less expensive than chicken breasts too. Give them a try!
- If you absolutely must use chicken breasts, choose bone-in, skin-on and split them in half crosswise through the bone prior to roasting so that they finish cooking in roughly the same amount of time as the vegetables. Check their temp early to prevent overcooking.
- Brussels Sprouts. More crispy on the outside, tender on the inside action. Roasted Brussels sprouts are one of my greatest vegetable loves (do you have these loves too?) and complement the flavors in this dish perfectly.
- Onion. Roasted onions are highly underrated. Their roasted flavor is a tasty blend of savory and sweet. Because this recipe cooks at a high temperature, the tips of the onion slices become dark and crispy and provide a nice textural counterpoint.
- Apple. Look for either tart (like Granny Smith or Cortland) or crisp tart (Honeycrisp, Fuji, Pink Lady) apples. The apples will break down when they roast in an unexpectedly delicious way. Scoop them right up with the Brussels sprouts, pile a bit onto your fork with the chicken, and enjoy a taste in every bite.
- Dijon Mustard. Toss with the vegetables to give them a nice bit of life and zip.
- Honey. Mustard’s BFF. The honey gives the vegetables a tasty glaze. Don’t be alarmed when the vegetables turn very dark. This is the honey caramelizing.
- Salt and Pepper. Be generous. Seasoning is critical to unlocking the flavor of the chicken.
- Fresh Rosemary. Don’t be tempted to swap dry. Fresh is what will give you the fall flavor you are craving. It’s worth it, I promise.
Dietary Notes: With the above ingredients, these chicken thighs are dairy free, gluten free, and Paleo and can be adapted to be keto. For Whole30 chicken thighs, omit the honey.
- First, place one oven rack in the center of your oven and one in the upper third. You’ll be glad you did this now, instead of when the oven is already hot. (If you forget, don’t worry. That’s what oven mitts are for.)
- Next, grab your large, rimmed baking sheet, and place the onion, apple slices, and Brussels sprouts in the middle. Drizzle with oil, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Toss until everything is coated.
- Now, spread the veggies into a single layer and nestle the chicken thighs, skin-side up in between. Pat the chicken dry (this is important for crispy skin!), and finish with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Set a sprig of rosemary on top of each piece of chicken, then bake the chicken and vegetables at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and push the veggies around a bit so that they roast evenly.
- Place the pan back in the oven, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. (The best way to know is by using an instant read thermometer to check for when it reaches 165 degrees F.) If some chicken pieces finish early, pull them off the pan ahead of schedule, place them on a plate, and cover them to keep them warm until everyone else catches up. When the dish is finished, the apples will be very soft, and the onions and the Brussels sprouts will be crisp on the outside (hello, caramelization).
- When ready, remove the pan from the oven, and discard the rosemary. Set your oven to broil, and place the pan in the upper third of the oven. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the chicken skin is golden and crispy. (If you don’t want to further cook your veggies, you can remove them before broiling.)
- Lastly, remove the pan from the oven, and season the chicken a bit more for good measure. Serve, and ENJOY!
Tips for Crispy Chicken Thighs
- Keep the chicken dry. Dry chicken thighs (especially the skin) are critical for obtaining the most delicious, crispy exterior. Don’t wash the chicken prior to cooking (I’m honestly now sure how this practice even started), and make sure you pat both sides dry with a paper towel.
- Bake them skin side up. This keeps the skin dry and it bakes to golden, crispy perfection.
What to Serve with Rosemary Chicken Thighs
- Rice. Rosemary chicken thighs and rice are a nice pairing. Use brown rice to add a whole grain serving to complete the meal. (This Lemon Rice would be tasty.)
- Pasta. For a hearty, flavorful, and comforting dinner spread, serve this recipe with a delicious pasta recipe like Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese (I really don’t get tired of Brussels sprouts), Instant Pot Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, or Pumpkin Pasta Sauce.
- Potatoes. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes and Crock Pot Baked Potatoes make a cozy and filling side dish for these rosemary chicken thighs.
- Bread. Soak up some of the delicious jammy flavors with Easy Drop Biscuits. Everyone will be reaching for more of these!
- More Roasted Vegetables. See recipe notes for a tip to increase the yield of vegetables and apples in this recipe.
Storage and Reheating Tips
- To store. Place cooked chicken thighs and vegetables in separate containers, and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
- To reheat. Remove the leftovers from the refrigerator, and let come to room temperature. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and warm in a 325 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through. Season with a bit of extra salt and more fresh rosemary as needed.
Recommended Tools to Make Rosemary Chicken Thighs
- Half Sheet Pans. A must have in any kitchen and great for roasting.
- Sturdy non-slip cutting board.
- Apple corer and/or sharp paring knife (for prepping the apples).
These one pan rosemary chicken thighs will light up your table and make your healthy dinner routine easier. I hope they give you the very best taste of fall and that you love them as much as we do!
If you try this recipe, don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know how they come out. THANK YOU!
Rosemary Chicken Thighs with Apples and Brussels Sprouts
- 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts - ends trimmed and halved (*see note for a large veggie yield)
- 1 medium yellow onion - thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)*
- 1 medium tart apple - such as Granny Smith, halved, cored and cut into 8 wedges*
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - divided
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt - divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper - divided
- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs - about 5 thighs
- 5 sprigs fresh rosemary - plus additional chopped fresh rosemary for serving
- Positions racks in the center and upper thirds of your oven, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the onion, apple slices, and Brussels sprouts in the center of a large, rimmed baking sheet. Top with 1 tablespoon oil, honey, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat, then spread in an even layer.
- Nestle the chicken onto the sheet pan towards its center, skin side up, moving the apple and vegetables aside as needed so that the chicken sits directly on the sheet pan. Pat the chicken dry, and season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over the top. Lay a sprig of rosemary on top of each piece of chicken. (If you have more thighs than sprigs, cut the sprigs into pieces as needed and divvy them up.)
- Bake the chicken and vegetables on the center rack for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and use a spatula to stir the vegetables around a little. Return the pan to the oven, and continue baking 5 to 10 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through. It will register 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer inserted at the thickest part. If some pieces of the chicken finish sooner than others, remove them to a plate and continue cooking the remaining pieces until they are done. The apples will become very soft and break down and the onions and Brussels sprouts will darken and become super crisp (this is the honey caramelizing).
- Remove the pan from the oven, and then remove and discard the rosemary springs. Return any chicken pieces you removed earlier to the pan. Turn the oven to broil. Place the pan on the upper third of the oven and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the skin is golden and crispy. This step will crisp the veggies further too; if you prefer them not to continue crisping, remove from the pan prior cooking, or place the chicken on a different baking sheet (line it with foil first for easy clean up).
- Remove the pan from the oven, and season the chicken with an extra pinch of salt and chopped fresh rosemary. Serve the chicken hot with the apples and veggies served along side.
- TO STORE: Place cooked chicken and veggies in separate containers, and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
- TO REHEAT: Remove the leftovers from the refrigerator, and let come to room temperature. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and warm in a 325 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until heated through. Season with a bit of extra salt and more fresh rosemary as needed.
- The recipe as written yields a moderate amount of veggies per person. We like a generous serving, so I tend to double the Brussels sprouts, apple, and onion mixture (as well as the honey, mustard, oil, and salt and pepper that go on top of them), then bake the over flow on a separate sheet pan at the same time as the chicken. Depending upon your oven, you may need to extend the baking time by a few minutes, since it will be more crowded.
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