Roasted Chicken with Leeks and Fennel

It’s time for another installment of Dave’s Diner. Today on the menu we have Roasted Chicken Hippy Deliciousness.

Roasted chicken spicesEditor’s Note: I’m fairly proud of these pictures as a whole. Feel free to click them and make them life-sized. Then, be sure to tell me how great they are. (Conversely, how average they are. Reluctantly, how not good at all they are.)

The hippy part is simply because it contains Fennel and Leeks. I associate those with hippies. Not just those things. Lots of things. Like tie dyed shirts. But I digress, or we could be here all day.

Mmmm, bacon grease

The Recipe


  • Chicken thighs
  • Leeks
  • Fennel
  • Bacon grease (ya damn right!)
  • Sage (probably dried)
  • Salt and Pepper

Tools that will make it better:

  • Season chicken for roastingDutch oven or heavy casserole pan
  • Tongs
  • Not your bare fingers

Instructions to create delicious (yes, I am using delicious as a noun in this instance):

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place dutch oven on stove top, set heat to medium/medium-low, add dollop of bacon grease to generously coat the bottom of the dutch oven
  3. Browned chicken thighsAfter bacon grease has liquefied and coated the dutch oven, add the chicken thighs. (You may want to wait until the bacon grease is heated up enough to start sizzling the chicken when you add it.)
  4. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and sage to taste. Bro tip: don’t be scurred, add liberally.
  5. After 5’ish minutes (P.S. there should be a very good/loud sizzle going on at this point, but don’t incinerate the chicken either, mkay?), flip it over and season the other side.
  6. Fennel and leeks for roastingBrown this side for 5’erish minutes too. Then flip the thighs back to their original starting positions. Turn off the burner. Remove chicken from dutch oven once sizzling has stopped.
  7. If you’ve done this right, your chicken should not have stuck to the dutch oven, and there should be a delicious conglomeration of bacon and chicken fat waiting to tantalize your taste buds upon completion.
  8. Wash and prepare your leeks and fennel (or if you’re really good, you’d have already been doing this simultaneously):
      • Cut tops of leeks off and throw away
      • Be sure to peel back the outer 1-3 layers and make sure all the dirt is gone
      • Chicken, fennel, and leeksSlice lengthwise
      • Cut fennel stalks off of bulb and set aside
      • Wash fennel
      • Slice fancifully in a way that pleases your eyes
  9. Salt and pepper to taste. (Bro tip: still don’t be scared to add a decent amount. They make more every day.) Add to the swimming pool of bacon and chicken grease in the bottom of the dutch oven. Try to make one single layer. Some overlap is probably unavoidable. That is also ok.
  10. Chicken, fennel, and leeksPlace browned chicken on top of fennel and leeks, skin side up
  11. Add some of the leafy fennel stalks on top of the chicken
  12. Cover the dutch oven with the lid
  13. Place in oven at 350 for 45’ish minutes or until you think it’s cooked all the way through
  14. If you like mushy skin or you’re going to throw it away anyways, you’re done at this point. Enjoy! If you’re like me, you believe that throwing away the tastiest part of the entire chicken is a sin. Yes, a religious sin. And in that case, you want crispy skin. So you will take the lid off the dutch oven, set the oven to broil, and then place the dutch oven back in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until you see the skin starting to darken to your liking. Then remove the dutch oven. Finally….
  15. Bon Appetit!

Roasted chicken with fennel and leeks


Black Bean Quinoa Salad Recipe

After splurging for the past several weekends (’tis the season, amirite?), I was craving something really healthy. I had some unused quinoa in my cupboard so I hopped on the google machine and searched for some recipes.

I like veggies, I like black beans, and I love simple flavors that mix together and create a party in my mouth. It was a no-brainer to choose this quinoa black bean salad recipe from Savvy Vegetarian.

Here’s the easy-to-read, ad-free, copy/pasta version from the site:


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 cups (1 can) cooked black beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse well
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced OR 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, OR 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 carrot, peeled, halfed lengthwise, sliced thin diagonally
  • 1 cup chopped fresh yellow or green beans
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 medium ripe tomato
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sliced olives
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions


  • 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper


  • The quinoa can be made ahead of time and refrigerated
  • Rinse quinoa and drain through a large fine mesh strainer
  • Place in a 2 qt pot with 1 1/2 c. water and 1/2 tsp salt
  • Bring to a full boil, cover tightly, turn down to low, and cook for 15 minutes
  • Remove from heat and allow to sit 5 minutes covered
  • Fluff quinoa gently with a fork and set aside to cool
  • If using canned beans, drain, rinse and set aside to drain
  • Sauté jalapeno, fresh garlic, in 1 tsp olive oil until garlic is slightly browned
  • Add the celery, carrot, green beans, green & red peppers and sauté 5 minutes
  • Add the cumin and coriander, cook and stir 2 minutes
  • Blend dressing ingredients with a whisk or shake in a jar
  • Add quinoa, black beans, sautéed veggies, tomatoes, cucumber, fresh minced cilantro or basil, scallions, to a large bowl
  • Pour on dressing and stir gently to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve quinoa salad warm, or cover and chill

I used 3/4 C. of quinoa and 1/4 C. of orange lentils instead. I also used a rice cooker instead of the stove top.

Of course, I’m no hippy so I added scrambled eggs to the equation. They started out on the side and ended up all mixed together.

Let me know if you try it and what you think!