The beauty of this tray bake is that it can simply be served with the rocket sprinkled on top, drizzled with dressing, making it a veritable one pan meal. It’s the ultimate in lazy dining, however while it takes less than twenty minutes to prepare and an hour to cook, the caramelised leeks and punchy dressing make it taste vastly more involved. I love the sweet flavour of the leeks with the chicken, and cooking with bone-in, darker meat cuts mean there’s no risk of serving a dry dish.
My luscious aunt Linda is an absolute whizz in the kitchen, especially when it comes to impressively presented meals she claims she has just “thrown together”. It comes as no surprise that she introduced me to this incredible autumnal meal. Leeks are in season for the colder months, but so easily forgotten in the vegetable aisle; I have her to thank for this delicious reminder. I seriously think this dinner is going to become one I’m in danger of getting sick of from cooking it so regularly. The variety of colours and textures mean it looks elegant enough to serve as part of an easy get together with friends, but it doesn’t require so much fuss or fancy ingredients that it’s not a possibility on a school night. This is exactly the kind of food I’m proud to cook for people, and it’s beauty is in its simplicity to prepare.
This makes plenty for 4-5 people for a main meal.
siracha spiced chicken with leek, potato and garlic yoghurt dressing
- 6 (~700-800g) skinless chicken thighs, bone in
- 750g floury potatoes (I used a combination of kumara/sweet potato and regular)
- 2 leeks
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp siracha or thick hot sauce
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
- 200g plain yoghurt (not Greek)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp honey
- A few handfuls of baby rocket/arugula
- Chop the vegetables: cut the potatoes in half lengthways and slice into pieces around half an inch thick. Trim the leeks of their dark green stems and slice lengthways, cutting the white and light green parts into thin slices.
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken thighs and potatoes. In a separate bowl, whisk together three tablespoons of the olive oil with the siracha, cumin and pepper. Drizzle over the chicken and potatoes and toss to coat. Cover and leave at room temperature for half an hour, or marinate in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
- In a medium bowl, combine the leeks with the remaining olive oil and lemon zest. Season with a little salt.
- When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200C or 400F bake setting. In a deep roasting dish, arrange the leeks across the bottom evenly. Scatter the potatoes and top with the marinated chicken thighs. Bake for 50 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through and the leeks are caramelising.
- Remove the roasting dish from the oven and sprinkle with the gluten free breadcrumbs. Switch the oven to grill and cook for a further 3 minutes until the crumbs are crispy and golden.
- While the chicken is cooking, prepare the dressing by combining the yoghurt, lemon, crushed garlic and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, arrange half the rocket/arugula on the bottom of a platter. Spoon the cooked potatoes, leeks, chicken and pan juices on top. Sprinkle with the remaining rocket and drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.