One Dish Baked Chicken and Leeks

I love an easy-to-prepare week night dinner. Especially when it's complex tasting and delicious enough to serve at a dinner party.  I've even prepped this dish in the morning and refrigerated it until I baked it that evening.  Place it in the oven and your dinner is served all in one dish.  As with any perfectly baked chicken, the baking time does involve time management so allow enough baking time and resting time, too. Waiting for the chicken to bake to perfection and letting it rest is actually the difficult part of this dish.  Trust me it's worth every minute you spend waiting for it.  A whole chicken, 4 leeks, Herbs de Provence plus some pantry staples are you'll need for this no-recipe dish. 

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I've prepared this dish with a 4 1/2 pound chicken and 4 large leeks.  The leek greens and roots were removed, and the white stalks were cut in half lengthwise. I wash the stalks well to remove any sandy grit and arrange the stalks in a single layer on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. I then season the leeks with black pepper and Herbs de Provence.    

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I rinsed the chicken and pat it dry with a dish towel.  I generously coated the entire chicken with olive oil followed by a coating of fresh cracked black pepper and all the Herbs de Provence you can get to adhere to the oil coated skin.  Place the seasoned chicken, breast side up, on the leeks.  Slice a salted stick of butter into pats.  Place the pats of butter on top of the chicken.

 If you have any produce that is about to expire coarsely chop it and fill the cavity of the chicken.  I tend to use onions, carrots and parsley.  Today I had a few apples that were not as crisp as I prefer to eat raw so I sliced them in half and stuffed them in the chicken. I baked the dish uncovered at 350°F .  After 45 minutes I rotated the dish and began basting it about every 15-to 20 minutes until the chicken was gloriously burnished and the juices between the leg and breast ran clear.  If you prefer to use an instant-read thermometer, insert it between the leg and breast making sure you're not touching the bone.  When the thermometer reads between 160° and 165° the chicken is done, about 1 1/2 hours.  Let is rest, loosely tented with aluminum foil, for at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes.  Enjoy your chicken and side dish of leeks.  I'd love to see your version so tag me on Instagram @y_delicacies

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