The ultimate crowd pleaser, soul cleansing, family-style dish that’s easy enough to make for any event (or a night in) and leave plenty of time for socializing.

Roasted chicken & leeks

3-5 lbs whole raw chicken
2-3 heads of garlic
4-6 leeks (sliced and washed)
4-5 medium potatoes (diced)
1 lemon
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Smoked paprika

Prep: 30 minutes
Salting: 1 hour – 24 hours
Roasting time: 1 hour

1. Start by salting your whole chicken. This can be done from one hour up to 24 hours in advance. I recommend salting for the full 24 hours as salt helps break down the proteins in the meat resulting in a softer, moister bird. Apply a generous amount of salt to every surface of the bird. Make sure to get inside and under the skin where you can. This will help ensure your chicken comes out super moist and tender. Store salted bird in the refrigerator until 1 hour before cooking.

2. Add rinsed and sliced leeks (video on how to prep leeks) along with diced potatoes into the bottom of your roasting pan. I generally use a dutch oven but whatever you’re used to will be fine. Coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika and mix well.

leeks & potatoes

3. Take the bird out of the fridge about an hour before cooking to allow the bird to reach room temperature. Pat dry and remove any excess moisture. Right before roasting, coat the chicken in olive oil, salt, pepper, & smoked paprika. Really get it everywhere. You can easily sub these spices or add more. Place the bird in the roasting pan on top of the potato and leek mixture, breast-side up.

4. Slice the top off of 2 heads of garlic and tuck them in the pan next to the bird. Coat in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add lemon slices and whole garlic cloves in and around the bird as well.

oven ready

5. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cover the pan with tinfoil and put in the oven to roast. After 30 minutes remove the foil. Continue to roast for another 30 minutes or until skin is golden brown and internal temperature has reached 165°F.

Serve with fresh bread to sop up the garlic, leeks, & potatoes. I find that this artisan bread recipe pairs really well with this chicken dish. Serve family style or animal style (no shame in skipping the carving to eat straight off the bird & dip bread into the bottom of the pan.) This is one of those heart warming dishes that your friends and family will always bring up long after serving it. Enjoy!

dinner time

Recipe shorthand
Salt whole raw chicken 24 hours in advance. Coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, & smoked paprika. Roast over a bed of seasoned potatoes & leeks (add whole garlic & lemon as desired) in a 425°F oven for 1 hour.