Cock-A-Leekie Chicken Recipe | Abel & Cole
Cock-A-Leekie Chicken
Clock Image
Total: 1 hr 40 mins
For this twist on a Scottish classic, our whole organic chicken is oven poached in a rich broth flavoured with tender leeks, fragrant thyme, garlic, lemon and sweet Medjool dates. It’s just the thing for celebrating Burns Night.
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655 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.

    Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Unwrap the chicken and remove the giblets (see our tip for using them to make an easy stock). Set the chicken aside for 30 mins-1 hr to come up to room temperature.

  • 2.

    Trim the roots and top 3cm off the leeks, then halve them, rinse out any grit and finely slice them. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Halve the dates and discard the stones. Scatter the leeks, garlic and dates into a large casserole dish or roasting tin. Set the chicken on top and season with salt and pepper.

  • 3.

    Halve the lemon and tuck 1 half into the chicken’s cavity, along with half the thyme sprigs. You can add the chicken neck from the giblet pack for extra richness, if you like.

  • 4.

    Pour 600ml cold water into the dish. Pop a lid on the dish or cover with a double layer of foil, scrunching it to the sides to seal.

  • 5.

    Roast for 1 hr, then remove the lid or foil off and roast 20-30 mins more to brown the chicken breast. To check if the chicken is cooked through, pierce the thickest part of a thigh with a knife or skewer. The juices should run clear – if not, roast for another 10 mins and check again.

  • 6.

    When it’s cooked, lift the chicken out of the dish or tin and let it rest on a plate or board, loosely covered with foil, for 30 mins before carving. Keep the broth in the dish or tin.

  • 7.

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

  • 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 together any leftover chicken, broth and a handful of finely chopped seasonal greens to make a speedy cock-a-leekie soup.

  • Tip

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