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One-pan lemony chicken traybake is the antidote to post-holiday craziness

This image released by Milk Street shows a recipe for chicken and potato traybake with garlic, lemon and parsley. (Milk Street via AP)

With labor-intensive holiday meals out of the way, this week calls for ease — without sacrificing flavor. Which is why traybakes are the perfect antidote.

Only 15 minutes of active work and just one pan to clean are all you need to transform simple chicken and potatoes into a satisfying dinner — sauce and all.

In this recipe from our book “Cook What You Have,” which draws on pantry staples to assemble easy, delicious meals, we took a cue from chicken Vesuvio. This Italian-American classic combines the meat and spuds with lots of garlic, lemon and oregano. The dish typically is a saucy stovetop braise, but we’ve turned it into a traybake by roasting everything together in the oven.

Seasoned bone-in, skin-on chicken and wedges of any kind of potatoes cook on a baking sheet with 10 cloves of garlic, which soften and sweeten. Heating the oven to 475°F helps the chicken brown, leaving concentrated bits of flavor stuck to the pan. Those tasty bits are combined with lemon juice, the mashed garlic and parsley to make a simple and delicious pan sauce.

Chicken and Potato Traybake with Garlic, Lemon and Parsley

Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)

Servings: 4 to 6

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs OR breasts OR both, trimmed and patted dry

1½ pounds medium Yukon Gold OR red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges

10 medium garlic cloves, peeled

2 lemons, halved crosswise

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position. In a large bowl, stir together the oil, oregano, 1¼ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken and potatoes; toss, then rub the seasoning mixture into the chicken and potatoes.

Place the garlic in the center of a rimmed baking sheet, then arrange the chicken, skin side up, around the garlic; this placement helps prevent the garlic from scorching during roasting. Arrange the lemons, cut sides up, and the potatoes, cut sides down, in an even layer around the chicken. Drizzle any oil mixture remaining in the bowl over the ingredients. Roast until the chicken is golden brown and the thickest part of the breasts (if using) reaches 160°F and the thickest part of the largest thigh (if using) reaches 175°F, about 30 minutes.

Transfer the chicken, potatoes and lemon halves to a serving platter, leaving the garlic in the center. Using a fork, mash the garlic to a rough paste. Squeeze 2 of the lemon halves onto the baking sheet, then add 3 tablespoons water and the parsley. Stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over and around the chicken and potatoes.

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