Roast Chicken on Saffron Potatoes and Leeks

, from Issue #32. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Roast Chicken on Saffron Potatoes and Leeks

Serves: 6-8


1 fresh chicken
1 lemon, quartered
melted butter or olive oil
1 teaspoon ground paprika
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 strips streaky bacon, finely chopped
zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 small sprigs rosemary

1 kilogram floury potatoes, sliced 2 cm thick (I used Agria)
2 large leeks, thickly sliced on the diagonal
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons thyme
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup white wine
pinch of saffron threads


Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Rinse the chicken under cold running water then dry the cavity and skin with paper towels.

Season the cavity and stuff with the lemon. Truss with kitchen string.

Make 8 deep slits in the chicken, 2 in each leg and 4 in the breast. Combine the bacon, lemon zest and garlic and stuff into the slits then push in a sprig of rosemary.  Brush the chicken and rosemary sprigs with butter or olive oil and season with paprika, salt and pepper.

Potatoes: Put the potatoes, leeks, garlic and thyme in a roasting dish. Combine the stock, wine and saffron and pour over the vegetables. Season well. Put a rack over the vegetables and place the chicken on top, breast side up.

Roast for half an hour then lift the rack off and give the leeks and potatoes a stir. Repeat every half hour until the chicken is cooked through. The juices from the thigh will run clear when pierced with
a skewer.
Total cooking time will be 1½ – 1¾ hours depending on the size of the chicken.

Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover loosely and rest for 10 minutes.

To serve: Place the chicken on a serving platter and surround with the potatoes and leeks.