Roasted Chicken with Apples, Leeks and Rosemary

How good can a recipe with 5 ingredients be? Turns out – very good. Our friend Debbie sent this one to us, declaring that it was awesome, and since I had all the ingredients in the house, including a half-chicken defrosting in the fridge, I gave it a whirl. The most challenging skill required for this one is mincing rosemary and coring a few apples – if you can handle that, you’re covered.

And as simple as this recipe is, it’s definitely ready for prime-time dinner with friends – the presentation is elegant, and the flavors are the best of fall – mellow, roasted leeks, herb scented chicken with perfectly crisp skin, and soft, sweet apples. Something magical happens to the apples in the roasting. I would never have thought to combine apples and rosemary before, but the combination of the two was incredible – the rosemary added a lovely savory note to the dish.

Apple Rosemary Chicken

from Real Simple
Serves 4

Half a chicken, separated into 2 pieces – breast & leg
4 small crisp apples (such as Empire or Braeburn), quartered
2 leeks, halved crosswise and lengthwise
6 small sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet (or in a large roasting pan), toss the apples, leeks, rosemary, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and nestle, skin-side up, among the apples and leeks.
  2. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the apples and leeks are tender, 40 minutes.

287 calories per serving; 110 cal/fat; 12.7g fat; 80mg cholesterol; 550mg sodium; 330mg potassium; 21g carb; 3g fiber; 12g sugar

Lamb & Leek Stew

I’ve been saving this post up for a week or so, knowing that I’d be in Michigan this weekend, with nothing coming out of my kitchen. I’m guessing that some folks may have had enough of turkey by this point in the weekend, so I’ll change up the pace with this hearty lamb stew. We get a lot of lamb in our meat CSA, and with the weather turning cold, I crave a good stew. Looking at the amazing bounty in my fridge, I improvised this stew. The leeks add a hearty, almost sweet base to the stew, and the red wine and rosemary make the broth sing with an herbal tang. Like most stews, it’s even better as leftovers the next day.

I served the stew with roasted garlic mashed potatoes…they look a bit grey because I didn’t have enough white potatoes, so I tossed a couple of Peruvian Purples in the mash, which made the ‘taters an odd color. But I assure you they were every bit as tasty as regular potatoes.

Lamb & Leek Stew
Serves 8

5 Weight Watchers Points per serving (without mashed potatoes)

2 lbs lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and cubed
4 leeks, green ends removed, and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
3 cups carrots, cubed in 1/2″ pieces
2 cups mushrooms, cleaned and cubed in 1/2″ pieces
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup red wine
salt & pepper

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly season cubed lamb with salt & pepper. Spray the bottom of the pot with oil. Add half of lamb to pot in one layer and sear for 1 minute. Turn the pieces over, cook for another minute, then remove lamb from the pot and set aside. Re-spray bottom of the pot, if necessary, and add the last half of the lamb, repeating the searing procedure, then set lamb aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, and add leeks and carrots to the pot, with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Saute for 7-8 minutes, until leeks soften a bit. Add garlic and rosemary, and continue cooking until fragrant, about one minute.
  3. Add red wine, and cook for 2 minutes. Add lamb, chicken stock, bay leaves and canned tomatoes to pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Add the mushrooms, and allow stew to simmer on the stove, uncovered, for 60-90 minutes, until carrots are tender. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. The broth will reduce quite a bit as it cooks. Once the carrots are tender, and you’re ready to serve, add the parsley and stir. If the stew is still too soupy, you may thicken it with a mixture of cornstarch and water. Remove the pot from the heat before you add the cornstarch slurry, and add slowly – it will get thick in a hurry.

Serve the stew with mashed potatoes.