This recipe from NYT Cooking combines savoury chicken with sweet pears and spicy arugula. Rub chicken and pears with ginger and spices and roast on a sheet pan. Scatter the arugula on top and serve. Cook’s note: I served the arugula on the side and did not use sunflower seeds.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Rub the chicken and pears with the spice mixture and roast

Sheet-pan roast chicken with pears and arugula


6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (2 ½ to 3 pounds/1.13 to 1.36 kg)

Kosher salt and black pepper

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) red-pepper flakes

1 teaspoon (5 ml) cumin

1 teaspoon (5 ml) coriander

1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated fresh ginger from a 2-inch (5-cm) piece

3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil

2 firm, semi-ripe Bartlett or Bosc pears, cored and quartered lengthwise

2 tablespoons (30 ml) raw, unsalted sunflower seeds

2 packed cups (500 ml) baby arugula

1 lemon, halved

¼ cup (60 ml) fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped (optional)


Heat the oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C) with a rack in the center.

Pat the chicken dry and trim excess fat and skin. Sprinkle all over with 2 teaspoons (10 ml) salt, and season with pepper. In a small bowl, mix together the red-pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, ginger and oil.

On a sheet pan, rub the chicken and pears all over with the mixture. Arrange chicken skin-side up and pears skin-side down. Cook until the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F/74 degrees C at the thickest part) and the pears are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, add the sunflower seeds to the pan. If there’s a lot of fat when finished cooking, tilt the pan and spoon it off until there’s a light coating on the surface of the pan.

Scatter the arugula on top and squeeze the juice of ½ lemon over the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with herbs, if using. Cut the remaining lemon half in quarters and serve. Serves 4.

From NYT Cooking