Easy Roast Chicken with Asparagus and Leeks


One of the great things about spring is that it provides you with a plethora of vegetables that need only brief cooking stints to become delicious. This makes them the perfect companion for a roast chicken dinner.

Simply roast your chicken, have your vegetable prepped, then cook them while the chicken rests. All of your food comes out piping hot at the exact same time.

I've already talked about the merits of butterflying your chicken before roasting. It's faster, gives more consistently cooked results, and is by far the easiest way to get your breast meat and leg meat to finish cooking at the same time (breast meat needs to cook to around 140 to 150°F, while legs need to reach at least 165°F or so). Check out the article in that link for a more thorough explanation.

This time of year I like to pair my chicken with roasted asparagus and some nice braised spring leeks, which are sweeter and more tender than their fall or winter counterparts.

This recipe uses a couple different cooking methods to finish the vegetable. The asparagus are roasted in the same pan as the chicken so they pick up that nice chicken-fatty, roasted flavor. The leeks get braised in a quick chicken jus made from the chopped-up neck and backbone of the chicken. You can make that while the chicken roasts.

Throw in a quick salad (made even quicker and easier once you know this squeeze bottle trick, and you've got a meal fit for company.

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