Baked chicken with tarragon butter over charred leeks

By Melissa Hartwig
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This chicken with tarragon butter tastes just as good when served as leftovers!


Total Time


  • 3 leeks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon Clarified Butter (page 289), softened slightly, or ghee
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Whole30-compliant whole grain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 chicken hindquarters (attached drumstick and thigh) (about 8 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Cut off and discard the dark green portions of the leeks and slice off the roots.  Quarter the leeks lengthwise and rinse thoroughly under running water; pat dry.  Place the leeks, cut side down, in a single layer in the bottom of a square baking dish (see Tip).  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and set aside
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon zest, butter, tarragon, mustard, garlic, and a pinch of salt. 
  4. With your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the chicken. Spoon the butter mixture under the skin of each chicken piece and use your fingers to spread the mixture evenly. 
  5. Place the chicken pieces, skin sides up, on the leeks in the baking dish. Brush the lemon juice over the chicken and season with salt and pepper. 
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes. 
  7. Remove the chicken from the baking dish. 
  8. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat with the juices in the dish. 
  9. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. 
  10. Bake for ten minutes more, spooning the juices over the chicken twice, until the internal temperature of the chicken is 180F and the meat is no longer pink. 
  11. Check the leeks during the last ten minutes of baking and cover loosely with aluminum foil if they are browning too quickly. 
  12. Serve the chicken over the vegetables. 

TIP:  For easier cleanup, line the baking dish with parchment paper before you add the leeks.


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