Who knew a meal of chicken thighs and frozen peas could be so decadent? A long roast in a hot oven crisps the skin on the chicken, and the peas cook down in the chicken juice and schmaltz. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice to soak it all up.
- 2 lb. frozen baby peas
- 5 medium to large leeks, cut into 1-inch slices (if the light green part of the leek looks dirty in between the outer rings, remove the outermost layers and rinse them well)
- 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/4 cup dry white vermouth
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tsp. sea salt flakes or kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 small bunch dill, torn into pieces
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Heat the oven to 400° and clatter the frozen peas into a large roasting pan (Nigella says not to go smaller—measuring inside from inside rim to inside rim—than about 15 by 11 inches, and a little larger is fine), followed by the leeks, garlic, vermouth, 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, 2 tsp. of salt, and most of the dill. Turn everything together in the pan—breaking up any large clumps of the frozen peas—until well mixed.
Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on top, then drizzle them with a little olive oil and give them a good sprinkling of salt, before roasting in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, give the peas a small stir or tamp down, so that the few that are sitting on the surface and drying out a little are submerged in the liquid. Don’t so the same to the leeks, however, as the bits that are peeking out will become desirably caramelized in the heat. Put back in the oven for 30 minutes, by which time the peas and leeks will be soft, and the chicken tender and cooked through, its skin golden and crisp.
Tear off the remaining dill fronds, and scatter over the top on serving, perhaps with some simply steamed baby potatoes to soak up the pea and chicken juices.