Cock-A-Leekie Chicken Recipe | Abel & Cole
Cock-A-Leekie Chicken
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Total: 1 hr 40 mins
A twist on a Scottish classic that's perfect for celebrating St Andrew's Day. Organic chicken is oven poached in a rich broth flavoured with tender leeks, fragrant thyme, garlic, lemon and - instead of the traditional prunes - sweet Medjool dates.
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650 kcal
(per portion)
Ingredients you'll need
  • 1.7kg avg. whole chicken
  • 4 leeks
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A handful of thyme
  • 6 Medjool dates
  • 1 lemon
From your kitchen
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 600ml cold water
You'll need
  • Large casserole dish or roasting tin with lid
  • Measuring jug
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Heat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Unwrap the chicken, remove the giblets and set the chicken aside for 30 mins-1 hr to come up to room temperature.

  • 2.

    Trim the roots and top 3cms off the leeks, then halve them and rinse out any grit. Thinly slice them. Peel the garlic and finely chop it. Halve the dates and discard the stones. Add the leeks, garlic and dates to a large casserole dish or roasting tin. Set the chicken on top and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

  • 3.

    Halve the lemon and tuck 1 half into the cavity of the chicken with half the thyme sprigs. If you like, can add the chicken neck from the giblet pack for extra richness.

  • 4.

    Pour 400ml water into the dish. Pop a lid on the dish, or cover it with a double layer of foil, scrunched to the sides to seal.

  • 5.

    Roast the chicken for 1 hr. Take the lid or foil off and roast for another 20-30 mins to brown the top. Pierce a thigh at its thickest part – the juices should be clear with no trace of pink. If not, roast the chicken for 10 more mins and check again. When it’s cooked, lift the chicken onto a plate or board, loosely cover with foil and rest for 30 mins.

  • 6.

    Just before serving, add the zest and juice from the remaining lemon half and the remaining thyme leaves to the broth and warm though. Serve the chicken with the fragrant leek broth.

  • Tip

    Something on the side?
    Creamy mashed potato and steamed seasonal cabbage would make smashing sides for your whole roast cock-a-leekie chicken

  • Tip

    Take stock
    A giblet stock is easy to make – just pop the giblets in a large pan with a sliced onion, chopped carrot, celery, a bay leaf and a few sprigs of thyme and parsley. Add 2 ltrs water. Cover, bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 hrs. Strain into a sealable container and store in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. This stock is perfect for adding to soups, risottos and gravies.

  • Tip

    Any leftovers? You can mix any leftover chicken, broth and a handful of finely chopped seasonal greens to make a speedy cock-a-leekie soup.