Casserole Roast Chicken with Leeks and Bacon

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4–6

Appears in

Simply Delicious: Book 1

Simply Delicious

By Darina Allen

Published 1989

  • About

Ingredients

  • 1 × 1.56 kg/ lbs chicken (preferably free-range)
  • 225 g/8 ozs streaky bacon
  • 450 g/1 lb/2 cups leeks, trimmed
  • 15 g/½ oz/ stick of butter
  • 1 splash of sunflower oil
  • 146 ml/8 fl ozs/1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 146 ml/8 fl ozs/1 cup light cream
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper
  • roux (optional)

Garnish

  • 15 g/½ oz/1 tablesp./¼ cup chopped parsley

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/regulo 4.

Cut the white part of the leeks into rounds and wash them well. Cut the rind from the bacon and cut into 1 cm/½ inch cubes.

Remove the lumps of fat from inside the vent end of the chicken. Season with salt and freshly-ground pepper. Rub the butter over the breast and legs of the chicken and put it breast-side down into a casserole. Allow it to brown on a gentle heat; this can take 5 or 8 minutes. As soon as the breast is golden, remove from the casserole and keep aside. Add the pieces of bacon to the casserole with a splash of oil. Cook the bacon until the fat runs and the bacon is golden. Then add the sliced leeks and toss together in the bacon fat. Season with freshly-ground pepper, but no salt as the bacon will probably be salty enough. Then replace the chicken on top of the leeks and bacon. Cover the casserole and put into a moderate oven for 1¼ – 1½ hours.

When the chicken is cooked, remove to a serving dish. Lift out the leeks and bacon with a perforated spoon and put into the centre of a hot serving dish.

Skim the juices of all fat, add the chicken stock and cream, and bring to the boil. Thicken by whisking in a little roux. The sauce should not be too thick, just thick enough to coat lightly the back of a spoon. Allow to simmer on a low heat while you carve the chicken.

Carve the chicken into 4 or 6 helpings, depending on how hungry you all are; everyone should get a portion of white and brown meat. Arrange the leeks and bacon around the chicken. Taste the sauce and add a little more salt and freshly-ground pepper if necessary. If the sauce has become too thick, add a little water. Spoon the hot sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.