Recipe: Simple baked chicken dish

Baked Chicken Pieces on a Bed of Onions and Leeks
Makes 4 servings plus seconds

Baking pieces of chicken is one of the simplest and quickest ways to put a weekday chicken meal on the table for your family. It is also an easy way to fix a pile of chicken for a crowd.

Since breasts cook quicker than legs, for best results, it is best to bake one cut of chicken together but if that doesn't work then the breast will end up a little overcooked. Never use skinless parts for baking because you need the skin to prevent the meat from totally drying out.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup leeks, split, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 large whole chicken legs (leg and thigh, about 3-4 pounds) or 6 large skin-on chicken breast halves (about 3-4 pounds) or a combination of both
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Mustard Glaze
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.

  2. Toss the leeks and onions into a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme and toss the mixture with olive oil to coat the vegetables well. Spread the leek and onion mixture on the bottom of a shallow baking pan just large enough to accommodate the chicken pieces.

  3. Arrange the chicken pieces over the leek and onions and sprinkle the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 10 minutes.

  4. While the chicken is baking, whisk together the mustard, shallots, rosemary, soy sauce and pepper then gradually whisk in the oil. Set aside.

  5. After the chicken has baked for 10 minutes brush on a generous coating of the mustard glaze and return to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes more or until the legs produce clear juices when pierced and the breasts are firm and no longer pink.

  6. If not done, bake 5-10 minutes more or until done when tested. Arrange chicken pieces on a platter and remover the leek and onion mixture with a slotted spoon and scatter over the chicken.
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Blue cheese dressing
Makes 4 servingss

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound blue cheese, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground fresh black pepper
  • 3/4 or more cups Bulgarian style cultured buttermilk
  • 1 medium head iceberg lettuce, quartered and cored
  • freshly ground black pepper
Method:
  1. Crumble about 1/2 cup of the blue cheese and set aside for a garnish.

  2. Set up a food processor with the motor running and drop the green onions through the feed tube. After 10 seconds, shut off the machine and scrape down the side.

  3. Add the remaining coarsely chopped blue cheese. Pulse a few times to chop the cheese.

  4. Stop and add mayonnaise, vinegar and black pepper. With the motor running, add the buttermilk. Stop and check the texture. If it is too thick, add enough additional buttermilk to produce a thick and creamy but pourable dressing.

  5. To assemble the salad, lay each wedge cut side up on 4 salad plates.

  6. Spoon over about 1/4 cup of the dressing or more to suite you liking, then sprinkle with some of the reserved blue cheese and grind over a few grindings of black pepper, or let guests add their own.

  7. There should be dressing leftover, which will keep for a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
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