Hello everyone! All of us, at one point, have tried something we saw on Pinterest — whether food, DIY furniture, etc. — and it did not yeild the same result. Today, I am going to talk about my failed attempt at a sheet pan dinner and the lessons I learned from it.
A couple of months ago, I had the brilliant idea to make dinner for my family. Most days, by the time I get home, dinner is already waiting for me; so I wanted to treat my family. Around that time, sheet pan meals were a huge craze. I loved this concept, especially since I have a great dislike for washing dishes. I bought: boneless, skinless chicken breast, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, squash, and onions. Once I gathered all of my ingredients, I was ready to assemble everything onto my sheet pan. I seasoned my chicken with: 1 lemon (and its zest), fresh rosemary and thyme, dried oregano and parsley, 2 cloves of garlic, olive oil, and salt/pepper. I let the chicken marinade for 1 hour before cooking it. I removed the chicken from the fridge and I placed it on my sheet pan. I then cleaned, cut, and seasoned (with salt/pepper/olive oil) all of my vegetables; these were placed around the chicken. Into the oven the sheet pan went at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
As I was basking in my amazing cooking skills, my father questioned whether everything was going to cook at the same rate. I was confident that that would not be a problem, until I looked into the oven. My chicken was barely cooked, but my tomatoes were already turning into wrinkly old men. So I placed the chicken in aluminum foil and placed it back into the oven. The vegetables were taken out of the oven, to avoid overcooking them anymore. While the chicken was finishing, I made some rice pilaf and started to plate (I watch too much “Chopped”).
I was a little disappointed, because all of the foods were not the same temperature; being that the vegetables were finished faster than the chicken. When I was planning the dinner, I was mainly focused on if the food would taste good together. However, as I thought about my father’s advice and watched more sheet pan videos, I realized I did not account for everything. Success in sheet pan dinners relies on the similar cooking time of the meat and vegetables. If you have soft/delicate vegetables (like cherry tomatoes) with a meat that takes longer to cook, you will end up with a half warm dish like me. And you will be chopped from the kitchen — just joking. I think I will try this again in the future, but will probably ditch the tomatoes.
Have you made a sheet pan dinner? Tell me about your experience. As always, thanks for reading!