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Thursday, February 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Crispy-skinned sheet-pan chicken and cabbage scores high on flavor, low on effort

Mustard and maple syrup pump up the flavor of this easy sheet-pan meal. (Tom McCorkle / Washington Post)
Mustard and maple syrup pump up the flavor of this easy sheet-pan meal. (Tom McCorkle / Washington Post)
By Ellie Krieger Special to the Washington Post

Three things that make me very happy: Simple, sheet pan and supper. Add “scrumptious” to that list, and you have an apt description of what this recipe brings to the table. Here bone-in chicken thighs are slathered with a sweet-and-tangy mix of grainy mustard and maple syrup, then cooked at a high temperature for 20 minutes.

This step not only makes the chicken’s skin extra-crispy, but also because the rendered fat is ultimately poured off the pan, you get that crave-able crunch without any grease. The oven temperature is then lowered, and the same pan is piled with a jewel-red cabbage slaw, accented with the earthy ping of caraway seeds and dressed with olive oil, maple syrup and a brightening splash of vinegar.

The crispy-skinned chicken is then nestled into the slaw to finish cooking as the cabbage warms and softens, and supper is served splendidly.

Crispy-Skinned Sheet-Pan Chicken

2 1/2 tablespoons grainy mustard

3 tablespoons maple syrup, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 1/2 pounds skin-on bone-in chicken thighs

8 cups thinly sliced red cabbage, about 1/2 medium head

1 medium red onion, sliced thinly into half moons

5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the mustard, 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper.

Place the chicken on a large, rimmed baking sheet and pat dry with paper towels. Drizzle the mustard mixture over both sides of the chicken and rub some under the skin. With the chicken skin-side up, place the sheet pan in the oven and roast about 20 minutes, until the skin has begun to crisp a bit.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Transfer the chicken to a plate and discard any accumulated fat.

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, onion, 4 tablespoons of the vinegar, the oil, the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, caraway seeds, salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer the cabbage mixture to the baking sheet, spreading it evenly, and return the chicken, skin-side up, to the sheet, nestling it in the cabbage.

Roast 20 to 25 minutes, until the cabbage softens, and the chicken is crispy on top and registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. If the chicken is done before the cabbage, transfer it to a plate and cover with foil. Return the cabbage to the oven until it reaches desired tenderness.

Drizzle the cabbage with the remaining tablespoon vinegar and season with additional salt, if desired.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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