Monday, November 9, 2015

Lemon Chicken with Leeks and Croutons

My friend, Patricia, passed on this recipe and I'm so glad she did!  It reminded me of the lemon and chicken dish we all loved so much, but this dinner was much easier to put together.  And I liked the leeks!  I've noted below the changes I made.  This is yummy stuff!

1/2-1 pound sourdough bread, torn into bite-sized pieces (about 10 cups)
4 medium leeks, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch lengths, white and light green parts only
3 lemons, quartered lengthwise
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
salt and pepper
3 1/2 - 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks and thighs

*Between the lemons and the sourdough bread, the flavor was a tad bitter.  My husband and I thought it was still delicious, but the kids probably would have preferred either just 2 lemons, or french bread instead.

Heat oven to 425 F.  Combine the bread, leeks, and lemons in a large bowl.  Drizzle in 1/3 cup olive oil and toss until everything is evenly coated.  Add in one teaspoon each salt and pepper and toss again to season.  Dump the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish (an extra deep dish is even better).  Then pick out almost all of the bread chunks and return them to the bowl.  This step was not in the original recipe, but I'd recommend it.  Adding this extra step will prevent the majority of your bread from becoming a soggy mush underneath the chicken.  Some gooey bread is tasty!  But you want to make sure you get plenty of toasted croutons for the top!

Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the baking dish.  Stuff the reserved bread chunks around the chicken.

Bake until the bread is toasted, the leeks are tender, and the chicken is lightly browned.  An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest piece should register 165 F.  It took my dish about one hour.  Some of the croutons were pretty charred on top, so if you want to tent your dish with some foil half-way through to prevent burning, go for it.  Enjoy!

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