Diana Henry’s Roast Chicken with Dill, Leek and Potato

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There is something immensely soothing and satisfying about roasting a chicken. It gives me the kind of warm zen inner calm other people seem to get from yoga. Yoga, on the other hand, I find intensely stressful. There is nothing calming about discovering that you can count breathing among the many things you have yet to master after thirty years on the planet. Cooking a roast is one of those things that also makes a place feel like a home. The commitment to cooking something to share, the delicious smell slowly filling the kitchen, lounging around reading (ok, fine, napping) while you wait for it to cook, it all makes a place really seem like your own. This is a beautiful, simple recipe from Diana Henry. It is easy to throw together, and is a whole meal in itself. The active time is about 15 minutes, but you have a wonderful, impressive dish to share at the end.

This serves 4 by itself, you could stretch it to 6 with some extra side dishes and bread.

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg chicken
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill
  • 75g unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1 lemon
  • 500g waxy potatoes, peeled
  • 500g leeks (2-3 leeks)
  • 3 shallots
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 3-4 tbsp dry vermouth or white wine
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Remove the fronds from the dill and finely chop (keep the stems for stuffing the chicken).
  • Mix the butter with half the chopped dill.
  • Carefully lift the skin of the chicken breast and legs, and smooth half the butter under it.
  • Spread the remaining butter over the chicken skin and season well.
  • Place in a deep roasting tin or flameproof casserole.
  • Squeeze the lemon over the chicken and put the lemon halfs into the cavity, together with the dill stalks.
  • Roast for 20 minutes at 200C.
  • Meanwhile, slice the leeks, shallots, garlic and potatoes, and bring the stock to the boil.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven, lift it up, and place the leeks, shallot, garlic and potato mix underneath (this is ideally a two person job).
  • Pour the stock and wine in, season the vegetables, place the chicken on top again and return to the oven at 180C for one hour.
  • Remove from the oven.
  • If the stock hasn’t reduced enough (mine hadn’t), remove the chicken and place on a warm platter or additional tin and cover with tinfoil.
  • Place the oven dish on the stove and boil for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.
  • Add the creme fraiche and mix.
  • Place the chicken back on top, add the remaining fresh dill and serve.
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9 thoughts on “Diana Henry’s Roast Chicken with Dill, Leek and Potato

  1. Happened to stumble upon your blog. I can honestly say all you recipes look scrumptious. With this recipe: I find that roasted chicken can be a bit bland, however; the recipes addition of dill seems like it will give an amazing enhancement of flavor. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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