Looking for an alternative to plain baked chicken? The sweet and savory combination of apples and leeks roasting in the rendered chicken fat are a tasty fall delight. You’ll love the single-pan simplicity of this dish that’s just good rustic comfort food. And fall is the perfect time to make it with October and November as the prime season for both apples and leeks.
ROASTED CHICKEN, LEEKS & APPLES
- 4 Bone-in Chicken Thighs
- 3 Large Leeks
- 3 Medium Apples (Jonamac or another sweet/tart baking variety)
- 3 Tbs. Olive Oil
- 8 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 1 1/2 Tsp. Salt
- 1 Tsp. Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Brush a large heavy cookie sheet with 1 Tbs. of olive oil to coat lightly. Place chicken thighs on sheet, but leave space between them.
- Wash and dry leeks and apples. Leeks can get gritty with sand/soil so be sure to wash them thoroughly.
- Core and slice apples into 6-8 slices each. Cut the tops off the leeks, cut the bottom in half and then in half lengthwise to get 4 pieces per leek. Place all leeks and apples on the cookie sheet. Again, spread out evenly to allow for even roasting and caramelization.
- Drizzle all ingredients with the remaining 2 Tbs. of olive oil and then salt and pepper. Top with sprigs of fresh thyme.
- Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately.
As the chicken renders and the skin crisps, the fat will spread through the pan to give everything some delicious “chicken love”. Mild onion flavor and sweet/tart apples perfumed with thyme are the perfect accompaniment to a perfect chicken thigh. You can easily double this recipe and use a whole cut up chicken, but you’ll need to use two cookie sheets. The key is to give everything enough space to roast and caramelize properly. I have no doubt that this will be a regular in your family’s weekly menu once you try it. Dig in and enjoy!