Passover starts this Friday! I’ll spare you a soliloquy about the meaning of the holiday and how I cook and prepare for it- mostly because you can find that on other posts on this blog. (But also because you’re just here for the recipe. I totally get it.)
This is one of my favorite dishes to make on Pesach- I’ve made some variation of it for the past four years. The first time, I’d only wanted to confit some leeks in chicken schmaltz. I added crisped chicken thighs to the pan of leeks as an afterthought. Everyone loved it and the next year, I riffed on it with artichoke hearts and white wine. It was good, but this final version is my favorite, mostly because it’s *so* delicious. The leeks- a vegetable I absolutely love and look forward to every Spring- and shallots get all caramelized and release their natural sweetness, the chicken is tender and crispy-skinned and the sauce, a mixture of schmaltz, white wine, stock and lemon juice, is bright and fresh. Baby new potatoes get nestled into the pan and cook in the oven, making this a full meal.
I finish this with a shower of herbs, lemon zest and a drizzle of good olive oil and I’m pleased to say it’s very delicious, the kind of dish I’d eat year round, Passover or not. Serve it with roasted asparagus, this salad and this easy almond cake for a spring-y Pesach meal. And then invite me.
Why I love this recipe: bright and full of spring ingredients, this dish is made in one skillet and gets finished in the oven for optimal ease. The chicken is tender and crispy, the leeks and shallots are melt in your mouth soft and the potatoes make it a full meal. It’s Kosher for Passover, but I’d make it all year round.
Variations: sub more chicken stock for the white whine. Use 2 large leeks instead of 1 leek and 3 shallots. Use 3 large, chopped Idaho potatoes in place of the new potatoes
- 4 chicken bottoms, cut into pieces (thighs and drumsticks), patted dry
- flaky salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 large leek, root end and dark green top removed
- 3 medium shallots, peeled
- 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 cups red new potatoes
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 chopped basil and parsley, for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Prepare the chicken: using kitchen shears, remove excess chicken skin and fat from the chicken and place in a large skillet over low heat. Let the chicken schmaltz begin to melt. Liberally season the chicken thighs and drumsticks with salt and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium and place the chicken, skin side down, in the skillet.
- Cook the chicken until browned and crisp, 8-10 minutes. Leave the chicken drippings in the pan and use tongs to transfer the chicken to a plate, setting aside until needed.
- Halve the leek and rinse to remove any dirt. Slice into thin rings. Thinly slice the shallots. Add the leek and shallots to the skillet with the chicken drippings. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Stirring with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat until the leek and shallots are softened, fragrant and the lemon juice has mostly reduced, 5-6 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Add the potatoes to the skillet, stirring to combine with sautéed leek and shallots. Use tongs to nestle the crisped chicken in the skillet. Pour in the chicken stock, white wine and white wine vinegar. Bake, uncovered, for 45-55 minutes, until the liquid is thickened and bubbling, the potatoes are fork tender, and the chicken is cooked throughout.
- Remove from the oven. Combine the chopped herbs with the lemon zest and sprinkle over the chicken. Season with more salt and pepper and drizzle with good olive oil. Serve hot.