My college roommate’s family owns a beautiful cabin tucked away in Hocking Hills, Ohio. During our four years together at Ohio U., we’d escape there for weekend getaways around the fire ring. We’d canoe, swim and take night hikes, guided only by our instincts and whatever light the moon and stars were casting off. Our idea of cooking back then was to stop for a box of donuts on our way up, mix up a big batch of sangria (fruit!), and maybe fry some eggs and bacon in the morning if we were feeling ambitious. It was magical.
After I met my husband, a trail runner who loves the outdoors, I was excited to introduce him to my roommate’s family and take him to the cabin, the first place I really learned to bask in nature. We were in our mid-20s by this time, and the two of us both had food allergies, so we offered to prepare dinner one night. We marinated some herbed skirt steak (recipe here) and packed ingredients for this Maple-Mustard Sheet Pan Chicken. Everybody gathered around the table, spooning extra helpings of the sauce over the chicken and quinoa we made for the side, enjoying each other’s company and catching up. I loved how appreciated I felt having made a meal that everyone loved, and it was SO EASY. I hope you enjoy the smoky, sweet, salty result as much as we do!
- Small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup
- 9×13” glass or ceramic baking dish
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup mustard (any kind will do; it's a great way to use up any leftover mustard you have. I like it best with either Dijon or whole grain, but it'll adapt to whatever you've got)
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- fresh thyme for garnish, if you have it
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Place the chicken breasts in the glass baking dish (I like to line the dish with foil or parchment paper for easier cleanup before).
- In a small mixing bowl or glass measuring cup (I like using the latter because I can measure and mix in the same container), whisk together the maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, mustard and thyme until you have a smooth, slightly thick sauce.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts and make sure all sides are coated.
- Place the baking dish in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
- If you have fresh thyme on hand, sprinkle it over the top.
To make it a freezer meal:
- Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place into freezer bag.
- Whisk together the sauce, then pour into the bag.
- Seal bag and move ingredients around until the chicken is coated.
- Freeze for up to three months.
- When you’re ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator, preheat oven to 425 degrees, bake for 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.