I’ve been on a lucky roll lately in trying new recipes.
Sometimes you try something that looks good on paper but the end result just isn’t all that inspiring.
Other times you try something thinking, “Okay…this could be good” and are totally blown away.
Spring Roasted Chicken with Potatoes & Leeks is one of those blow you away (in a BIG WAY) recipes!
Traditional Roasted Chicken, while a staple at our house, can sometimes feel like in a fall or winter meal. After all, Thanksgiving dinner is all about a giant roasted bird.
This chicken, however, makes me think SPRING! Spring leeks, spring new potatoes, spring greens/arugula, spring dill.
Then to top it all off, a delightful and light drizzle of tangy yogurt sauce. Yes, yogurt on chicken.
Go with me on this one. It’s amazing.
Here’s what you need:
Chicken, White New Potatoes, Leeks, Garlic, Lemon, Fresh Dill, Baby Arugula (optional but recommended), Olive Oil, Sriracha Sauce, Plain Yogurt, Cumin, Salt & Pepper.
Plan Ahead! For the best flavor, this chicken needs to marinate for 30 minutes. It can even marinate up to 8 hours if you really want to plan ahead. I’ve always just started the chicken marinating first thing then by the time I get everything else ready to go, read a couple of emails, pour a glass of wine, the 30 minutes has passed.
For the marinade, combine 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, 2 Tablespoons of Sriracha Sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin. Whisk to combine.
2 Tablespoons of Sriracha has a bit of a kick to it. I taste it more in the potatoes than in the chicken. To me, this is not overly spicy but if you are sensitive or cooking for kids, you might want to try this with 1 Tablespoon of Sriracha at first. Otherwise, go for it!
I have just over a pound of small white fingerling potatoes. You can also use small Yukon Gold potatoes which are round. The really little potatoes are the best because you can just cut them in half lengthwise.
Since we like a combination of dark & light chicken, I’m using a cut up fryer – 2 breasts, 2 legs, and 2 thighs.
The original recipe recipe called for just thighs and drumsticks. I would plan on 8 pieces total if you’re going the separate leg/thigh route. Or you could even get 4 of the leg thigh pieces that are still attached.
In short…pick some chicken pieces that you like. 2-3 pounds.
Place the chicken in a large bowl and season it lightly with salt & pepper. Add the potatoes to the bowl and pour in the Sriracha marinade.
Use clean hands to massage the marinade into the chicken and to cover the potatoes. Let this hang out at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Obviously if you’re making this ahead, marinate the chicken in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Lightly oil a large rimmed baking sheet and arrange the chicken pieces so they are not too close together.
Scatter the potatoes around the chicken.
Roast at 425° for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, clean 2 leeks to remove any sand from between the layers.
Cut off the root end and the tough dark green tops. Cut the leek in half and then into thin slices.
I recently found trimmed leeks at Trader Joe’s for a fraction of what they cost at my regular grocery store!
Very exciting. I always feel bad about throwing away the top part plus they take up a ton of space in my already overly crowded fridge.
On a side note, I also found trimmed fennel super cheap at Trader Joe’s in the same produce section. Win-Win.
Place your sliced leeks in a small bowl and add the zest of ½ a lemon and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
Toss the leeks around to coat them in the oil and then, when the chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and scatter the leeks over the top.
Put the chicken back into the oven and continue to roast at 425° for an additional 30 minutes.
The drizzled yogurt sauce and fresh dill is what makes this recipe really sing.
While the chicken finishes cooking, combine 1/3 cup plain yogurt with the juice of ½ a lemon.
Use a microplane or garlic press to grate in 1 clove of garlic.
If you are using regular yogurt, simply stir to combine. I’m using Greek yogurt so I added 2 Tablespoons of water to thin it out to a drizzling consistency.
Whisk the yogurt until smooth and set aside.
After 30 minutes your chicken should be golden brown and have reached an internal temperature of 165°.
Drizzle the yogurt sauce over the warm chicken and vegetables and sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh dill over the top.
PLEASE don’t skip the yogurt or the dill. It’s SO good.
The original recipe also had baby arugula scattered over the top before serving.
I LOVE arugula and agree that it makes this dish even better, but if you don’t have it, the chicken is still great without that extra addition.
The last time I made this, rather than scattering the arugula over the top, I made a little bed of arugula on the plate and topped it with the warm chicken.
Then as you eat, all of the sauce and juices from the chicken are captured in the arugula.
I know when you see it all laid out here with photos this seems like a lot of work for a chicken, but after you’ve made this recipe once, you’ll find that you can pull it all together quite quickly and easily.
The chicken and veggies don’t need any fussy work to roast in the oven and the sauce and “extras” are all so fresh and simple that they come together right before serving.
Put a little spring into your step with Spring Roasted Chicken with Potatoes & Leeks. And arugula. And tasty yogurt sauce.
I promise that you won’t be sorry!
Here’s the recipe: Adapted from The New York Times