one pan chicken with crispy potatoes

one pan chicken + potatoes

Before I had a child, I thought staying at home with a kid would mean I would have a ton of time to do all the things I never had time for when I worked full time. I figured my husband would always come home to a clean house that smelled of roasting meat with me in my apron and Ollie in clean clothes. At the very least, dinner would be ready at a reasonable hour, so that we would have some solid time together before the baby had to go to bed. Fast forward a year and a half and the scene is a lot less Pleasantville and a lot more Roseanne. Ah, naivety.

Today I didn't get to shower. We spent the morning at Costco crying over blueberries we couldn't eat at that very second. The new chicken costume helped with that disappointment, thankfully. Nap time was a rush to take a few pictures and then finish my resume so I could get it into the hands of the right people. By the time that was finished and edited, the babe was awake. The kitchen was a mess and dispersed from my makeshift photo studio and both sides of the sink were spilling over with dishes, but we left all of the mess at home and walked to the park anyway. Ollie went down the slide for the first time all by himself, never put sand in his mouth and I didn't even think about dishes one time. It was pretty great. At 4:45 we walked in the door, Ollie got a late afternoon snack and watched an episode of Bubble Guppies (I remember when I said my kid would never watch tv) while I tried to get a start on some of the dishes and a jump on dinner. Jon came home early to dirty dishes, onions and garlic on the stove, laundry that hadn't been folded and he kissed a wife who probably should have put on another layer of deodorant at some point during the day. We ate simple beef tacos with plenty of hot sauce and laughed a lot. There were no phones around and no to-do lists. Just us, around the table and now that I really think about it, that version of parenthood is actually pretty great. 

thyme for potatoes
bi rite

Since I don't need any help in the 'generating dishes' category, one pan recipes are highly sought after in our house (especially by Jon who frequently takes the dish washer job after dinner). We roast a chicken at least once a week, using just one pan which usually takes an hour, but lately I've started removing the backbone to speed up the cooking. Because all of the flesh is in contact with the pan, it cooks much faster than if it were whole. You also can set it and forget it until the timer goes off since it no longer needs to be flipped. All great things when you've got a hungry family to feed. 

cut out backbone
removed backbone

Potatoes are a common compliment to chicken, but you could really use any root vegetable. Butternut squash or sweet potato (or all three!) would be great here as well. The onions get nice and browned while they roast and the extra time the potatoes take in the oven at the end really make them irresistably crispy. 

one pan chicken with crispy potatoes

serves four


  • 1 3 1/2 to 4 pound chicken, whole
  • 4 large red potatoes, cut in half lengthwise, and then halved lengthwise again, then cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 of a medium yellow onion, cut into 1" pieces
  • 3 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • smoked paprika
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the middle position. 
  2. Remove any organ pieces from inside the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breast side down on a large cutting board. With kitchen scissors, cut along one side of the back bone starting at the neck and ending at the tail. Cut the other side and remove the back bone (see images above for reference). Flip the chicken over and place the heel of your hand in the middle of the breast bone. Put your other hand on top and push down as hard as you can to break the rib bone. The chicken will then lay out flat.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a large (at lease 12") oven safe (no plastic on the handle) skillet, with the breast side up and the legs laying flat. Spread the potatoes, onion and thyme around the chicken and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Season the whole dish with a couple big pinches of kosher salt and a light sprinkle of freshly ground pepper. 
  4. Cook the chicken until the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees, about 40-45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and allow it to rest while you finish the potatoes. 
  5. Even out the potatoes in the skillet and transfer back to the oven. Cook until the potatoes are well browned, about 10 minutes. Serve alongside sturdy sautéed greens such as kale. Mmm. Yes to kale.  

roasted poblano + chicken enchiladas

roasted poblano + chicken enchiladas

I often struggle with what to share on these pages. Anecdotes about our daily lives, silly toddler stories and sharing a great meal we had are all pretty safe places, but what about the hard stuff? The difficult things are an important part of our human existence and I find that those are the experiences we bond over most frequently. We all have a struggle in some form and it is in that struggle where we see each others humanity. In a society where we have a screen in front of our faces at all times, it is easy to curate our interaction with the world to miss a lot of that real, vulnerable connection. My hope for this place is to encourage us to be authentic with those around us and to connect in a way we can't through a screen. Allow yourself to share those hard places with someone. Cook dinner, share life.

roasted poblanos
peeling poblano skin

This week was really hard.

My family life growing up seemed to be filled with more bad weeks than good ones, while we all lived through the constantly repeating repercussions of substance abuse and severe emotional instability. My sisters and I were lucky enough to make it out mostly unscathed, but occasionally the battleground of our childhood resurfaces and we dutifully put on our uniforms and wield our weapons, in hopes of making it through another conflict. In wars past, my inclination has been to attempt to rescue everyone, but this time, I'm all out of energy and all I can do is throw my hands up and retreat, waving my white flag in hopes the enemy that is addiction will leave us alone once and for all.

It amazes me, when I think about it, how much our choices can affect other people. Something as personal as how many drinks we decide to have on any given night can greatly alter the lives of those around us. Those seemingly small, insignificant choices can have a real lasting impact on those we care deeply about.  It's likely I am blissfully unaware of most of the ways having an alcoholic father has shaped who I am, however, when the careful balancing act of quiet addiction is thrown out of whack, I'm acutely aware of the affects and their tremendous weight. 

We spent the last two weeks dealing with the consequences of his poor decisions. It was painful and confusing and oddly numbing in some ways. By the weekend, I was completely drained. I told my husband that I needed a day where I didn't have to take care of anyone because I really needed to take care of myself. He was happy to give me that time and skipped out on work to support me. I cooked and I stood behind my camera and no one asked anything of me. The enchiladas did exactly what I wanted them to and my sense of control was restored if only for a few hours, and it was perfect. 

roasted poblano enchilada sauce
filling tortillas

If you like your food spicy, these will be your jam. I was actually really surprised by the heat, but it's the perfect amount for me. The sour cream lends a reprieve and if you serve these with some rice and beans you'll have a beautifully balanced plate. The tortillas can tear pretty easily, but just give them grace. They still taste great and all that lovely sauce will cover any holes. 

torn enchilada
saucing enchiladas
spreading enchilada sauce
adding cheese

In every other tray of enchiladas I've made, I have covered the tortillas completely in sauce. This recipe suggested leaving the edges naked to allow them to get crispy, which added an extra crunchy layer I had never had in an enchilada. It's awesome and I'll never go back. 

roasted poblano + chicken enchiladas

The extra step of roasting the poblanos is an essential part of this recipe. It takes little effort and really makes the recipe what it is. Resist the temptation to use canned green chiles here, it just won't be the same. Plus, there is something therapeutic in peeling off those skins. Count it as your end of the day de-stress activity. 

roasted poblano + chicken enchiladas

makes 10 enchiladas

adapted from this recipe from Sunset Magazine


  • 1 1/4 pounds poblano chiles (you can also use anaheim or hatch chiles if you catch them in season)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus a bit more
  • 3 3/4 cups reduced-sodium or homemade chicken broth, divided 
  • 10 corn tortillas (6 1/2 to 8 in. wide) 
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack, divided
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (from left overs or a store bought rotisserie chicken)
  • Sour cream, for garnish


  1. Place an oven rack on the second position (or at least 6 inches from the heating element) and another rack on the middle position. Pre-heat the oven to broil. Place the poblanos on a baking sheet and broil on the second rack until very dark, about 15 minutes, flipping them halfway through to blacken evenly. Allow them to cool slightly. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees. 
  2. When the chiles are cool enough to handle, remove the stems, seeds and skin. Roughly chop and set aside. 
  3. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the chiles and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Cook for a few minutes and then add 1 1/4 cups chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it reduce by a third, about 10 minutes.  
  4. Place the chile mixture into a blender (careful, it's super hot!). Cover with a clean towel and blend on low (to avoid a really big mess), until the mixture looks a lot like pesto. Set aside. 
  5. In the same skillet, add 2 1/2 cups chicken broth and bring it to a gentle simmer. Grab a large baking sheet and set it up next to the stove. Dip a tortilla (until completely covered) into the hot broth to moisten it. Place it on the baking sheet and repeat with another tortilla. Don't let them touch on the baking sheet or they'll stick to each other. Add a pinch (like 2 tablespoons) of cheese to each tortilla and about the same amount of chicken. Give them a small sprinkle of kosher salt and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper. Roll them up and transfer them to a 9x13 baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. 
  6. Pour the chile sauce over the enchiladas, leaving the edges of the tortillas exposed to allow the ends to get a bit crispy, because they're super good that way. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and again, give it a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  7. Bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes, until the cheese is good and melted. Turn the oven to broil, and move the enchiladas to the rack in the second position. Broil until the cheese is browning, about one minute. Garnish with sour cream and have some milk ready. These babies are packing some heat. 

sweet potato, kale and gruyere mini frittatas

sweet potato, kale and gruyere frittatas

For the past year and a half I've been at home with our son, mostly just making sure that he stays alive. Before we were even pregnant, I knew I wanted to be at home with him if it was even remotely possible. My mom was home, running a day care when we were growing up and my husbands mom was a stay at home mom. Neither of us had the experience of a working mom, so naturally we leaned that way. I have found the time to be incredibly challenging and also an experience I am incredibly grateful for. There are days when I feel like I'm just on repeat trying to keep him from swallowing literally everything and it's all I can do to console him with each toddler disappointment ("why did you give me exactly what I asked for?! WHAAAAAH!"). Most days though, I'm amazed by every single thing he does. How is it possible that just a little over a year ago, all he could do was eat, poop and sleep? Now he goes to the fridge and asks for cheese and then takes me by the hand to our room where he asks for the guitar from under the bed so he can dance while I play the only four chords I know that go together. It's all so surreal. 

packed up frittatas

It feels like we have walked through a thousand transitions in the last year. Many were rough and some I dreaded. When Oliver was still on a bottle, it was so easy to just pop some pre-made formula in our bag and head out the door. He had a meal (a no-brainer meal) at any given moment. I was so used to the convenience. At a year, when we were moving to a completely solid food diet, I had a lot of anxiety of how it would all work. What do I feed him? How do I know he is getting what he needs? What if he hates everything? I just couldn't anticipate enough about the situation to feel confident in the next phase. Each day was a little easier and I was able to be more creative as we went along. Now, if I can stay on top of things, we have a great range of food we all like. One of the great things about making most of his food is that I can make things I like too. That way when we're out, we both have a quick, healthful snack. 

Each week, I try to make a high protein, vegetable packed and portable snack. Some weeks it's mini muffins or quinoa patties and others it's some variation of a mini frittata. Usually, I peek in the fridge and take inventory of the vegetables I haven't used and those become the foundation for whatever snack I'm going to make. He's not really into anything green yet, so this is a good way to get some greens into his cute little body. The recipe below is for my absolute favorite frittata combo. It would be perfect as a regular sized frittata too, served to friends on a Saturday with crusty, buttered bread and a strong cup of coffee. 

sweet potato, kale + gruyere mini frittatas

makes 24


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups kale, chopped small
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated with a microplane
  • pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 small sweet potato, diced small (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup grated gruyere (on the mid sized holes of a box grater), about 3 oz, divided


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 and oil a 24 cup, or two 12 cup mini muffin tins and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the kale and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until just starting to wilt, about two minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the sweet potato, oregano and cumin to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. If you need to, add another drizzle of oil to coat the sweet potato. Cook until just softening and starting to brown, about 5-6 minutes.  
  4. Add the eggs, milk and half of the cheese to the bowl with the kale. Stir to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the 24 cups, using about a tablespoon of mixture for each. Sprinkle the sweet potato over the top of each, pressing it down to submerge it. Top each cup with a sprinkle of cheese and salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  5. Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for about 5 minutes and then remove the frittatas from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack. These can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to one month.