Easy Peesy Roast Chicken With Apples & Leeks

OMG, this is so tasty, so easy . . . I thought my dear friend Lindsay made this one up - you should hear her talk about this dish - her eyes light up, her hands flutter, she smiles dreamily as she describes how easy it is and how it's "the ultimate comfort food." So why did it take me SO LONG to get around to making this? Dunno. What inspired me last weekend was again, my Shared Harvest CSA share. I had 5 pounds of Empire apples, beautiful leeks and fresh rosemary staring at me. How could I let this opportunity slide by?

Turns out, this was originally a Real Simple recipe . . . but to call it a recipe is overstating it. It's a method, and you can tweak this to your needs in terms of quantity and taste. No matter what, it's a hands-off preparation that yields a healthful dish that's easy enough for a weeknight.

Roast Chicken With Apples & Leeks (adapted from Lindsay, who adapted it from Real Simple)

6 crisp apples (such as Empire or Braeburn), cored and quartered
3 leeks (white and light green parts only), sliced into 1-inch rounds
6 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely minced
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 (4-6 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or, for a more decadent dish, about 2 1/2 pounds drumsticks and thighs, skin on - decrease oil to 1 T. if you're using dark meat with skin on)


Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a large roasting pan, toss the apples, leeks, rosemary, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and nestle it among the vegetables (if using skin-on, bone-in chicken, place it skin-side-up). Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the apples and leeks are tender, 40 to 45 minutes, tossing the apple and leek mixture about every 15 minutes.

Serve the chicken, apples and leeks, along with some of the pan juices, over hot cooked rice . . . and in this instance, I have to say I think white rice is better. So shoot me.

Serves 4.