Tuesday, June 14, 2011

dinner date - roasted chicken, leek and pear salad

This tray-baked wintery salad has been doing the blog rounds, so I am sorry if it looks a little overly familiar...but I still wanted to share it as it is SO tasty, not to mention quick to throw together.  Chicken, pears and the much underrated leek make such good friends, especially accompanied by crunchy garlicky chunks of bread (they are too rustic to be called croutons!) and dollops of melting goats cheese.  A most satisfactory dinner, especially after a rather tiresome afternoon of yet more nasty earthquakes.

A little trick I have for the goats cheese - for cooking I love the flavour and texture of the soft, creamy french chevre de bellay logs, however these are pricey  - so I buy a NZ goat feta and blend it up in the food processor with some softened cream cheese.  It takes the harsh edge off the feta but still lets the fresh tang of the goats cheese shine through,  giving a result pretty similar to the french stuff. It is definitely easy on the wallet too so can be used with great(er) abandon. If you use a whole pack of both it will make loads, but it freezes beautifully. Lovely on pizza too...

Scoot over to Millie and Mel's blogs if you like for their versions of this salad (which originally appeared in Cuisine mag last year) but here's what we ate for dinner last night - 

roasted chicken, leek and pear salad with goats cheese (for 4)

6 x chicken thighs
1 tbsp yellow and black mustard seeds (or a dollop of grainy mustard)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 leeks, diagonally sliced 1 cm thick
drizzle of olive oil
splash of red wine vinegar
s and p
chunks of old bread, ciabatta, focaccia etc
soft goats cheese, or feta
salad greens

Preheat oven to 200c. Place the chicken, mustard, herbs, garlic, leeks in a large roasting tray, drizzle over some olive oil and red wine vinegar, s and p, and toss well to combine, then cook for about 30 minutes or until chicken is done ( I used boneless thighs which cooked really quickly).  Once the chicken is nearly done scatter the bread over the other ingredients, drizzle with a little more oil and return to the oven for another 10 minutes so the bread crisps up.  Remove from oven,  throw over the goats cheese and let it melt a bit.  Serve warm in bowls with the salad greens tossed through.


  1. Oh, is that chevre the stuff with the ripply edges? I've not seen it at a supermarket before, but perhaps I just need to venture further from pak'n'save hehe.

  2. Thanks for the feta tip - such a good idea. This salad sounds gorgeous, I'm not sure how I missed it first time round in Cuisine!

  3. Oh, this looks and sounds so tasty. I'm always looking for new chicken recipes and look forward to trying this. Thank you!

  4. I'm a little scared of goats cheese to be honest, but I've learned that I like it as an ingredient. Much like how fish sauce is intense on it's own but as an ingredient, it's great. I'll have to try your cream cheese and goats cheese trick. Sounds like a good way for a goats cheese retard like me to get a foot in the door.

    As much as I love hearty winter food, my round belly suggests that maybe I have been indulging a bit too much. This winter salad sounds like a great solution. And probably a great salad to bring to work to make my workmates jealous.


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