April 21, 2021: Sheet Pan Chicken with Paprika and Tomatoes
April 25th, 2021 by Max Koster

Hi Welcome to, a site my sister Alex and I (Max),  started in 2015 to talk about healthy food, kids’ cooking, and how to help hungry people. To learn more about why we started the site and what hunger-relief charities we support, please scroll down a bit to the “About Kids Cook Dinner…Chopped Junior” page and consider donating to a hunger-relief charity.  Feeding America, a charity we support, projects that 42 million people (1 in 8), including 13 million children (1 in 6) will experience food insecurity in 2021 due to the economic impact of COVID-19, so every dollar donated helps… and that’s just in the United States.  It’s even worse worldwide so please if you are able to, think about donating to support hungry families.

I am heading to college soon, so Alex will be taking over the website, but I’m focused on learning (and remembering) simple meals to cook.  So tonight I interpreted another “sheet pan dinner” from The New York Times, “Sheet-Pan Chicken with Jammy Tomatoes and Pancetta” by Melissa Clark.   I always change things up, but maybe I made too many changes because this wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.


The ingredients are as follows:

  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 peeled garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus a bit more for drizzling)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil for serving.

First, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Salt and pepper the chicken on a plate.


Smash all the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and finely mince the largest one.  Combine the minced garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, oregano, and cumin in a medium bowl.


Pour over the chicken, mix till chicken coated, and then put the chicken on a sheet pan.


In the bowl that you mixed the garlic, lemon juice, paprika, etc. (and which is now empty) add the tomatoes and the remaining 9 smashed cloves of garlic. Salt and pepper them, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and add to the sheet pan.


Sprinkle the pancetta on top of the tomatoes/garlic.

Put the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes: then toss the tomatoes/garlic/ pancetta, and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown.


To plate, transfer the chicken first to the plates. Then stir the tomatoes/pancetta/ garlic (add salt and pepper if necessary) on the sheet pan and spoon it over the chicken. Top with shredded basil.  I also cooked some pasta to go with it.

max paprika chicken,final

OK: I have to be honest: I didn’t love this dish, and maybe it’s my fault because I added a bit more paprika than Melissa Clark recommended (I would cut it to 1/2 teaspoon), but it was definitely edible and you have to try new stuff.  But next time I’m just cooking steak and potatoes!

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