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roast chicken with fi ngerling potatoes, leeks, and bacon

roast chicken with fi ngerling potatoes, leeks, and bacon

1 31/2- to 4-lb. whole chicken Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley, plus 10 small sprigs
4 fresh or dried bay leaves
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh thyme, plus 4 sprigs
4 large leeks, white and light-green parts halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into /8-inch pieces (about 4 cups) and rinsed; dark-green parts from 1 leek rinsed and reserved
3 strips thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise /8 inch thick
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 lb. large fingerling potatoes, cut crosswise into
1/8-inch-thick rounds
1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened

Discard the giblets from the chicken, trim off any excess fat from the cavity and neck, and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the chicken inside and out with 1 Tbs. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Stuff the cavity with the parsley sprigs, 3 of the bay leaves (if fresh, crush lightly), 2 sprigs of thyme, and the dark leek greens. Tuck the wings behind the neck of the chicken, using the wing tips to secure any loose neck skin, if necessary. Tie the legs together with string. Let rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of theoven and heat the oven to 450°F.

In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon in the oil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Leaving the bacon in the pan, spoon out and reserve all but 1 Tbs. fat.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks, garlic, and the remaining bay leaf and thyme sprigs, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

In the same pan, arrange half of the potatoes in an even layer, season very lightly with salt and pepper, then scatter the leek mixture over top. Layer the remaining potatoes over the leeks, and season very lightly with salt and pepper. Pour the broth over the vegetables.

Pour 1 Tbs. of the reserved bacon fat into the cavity of the chicken. Rub the softened butter over the bird’s skin, and sprinkle with the chopped thyme. Set the chicken, breast side up, on the vegetables.
Roast the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, about 1 hour
Transfer the chicken to a platter, remove the string, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf and keep the vegetables warm in the turned-off oven.
Sprinkle the potatoes with the chopped parsley, arrange them around the chicken, and serve.