Buttermilk Roast Chicken with Leeks & Bacon

Buttermilk chicken 1

This is a recipe I got on a cookery course I did in The Tannery Cookery School in Dungarvan with Paul Flynn. I love it because it is great for a quick weekday dinner but also is fancy enough to serve if having friends over for dinner. It is a brilliant recipe to have in your repertoire of dishes that are quick, easy, delicious and healthy.

The secret here is to use a (skin-on) breast of chicken called a chicken supreme. This is the kind of chicken breast you would get in a restaurant, all bones are removed apart from a small bit of the wing bone. As a result it is very easy to cut and it looks very nice on the plate. You won’t find this as standard in supermarkets but all good butchers will know exactly what you are looking for.  The leeks and bacon are a great combination of colours and flavours and quick and easy to make. I know you are probably saying that marinading the chicken is way too much trouble but believe me it takes just a few minutes to throw all the ingredients into a freezer bag and leave in the fridge overnight. This gives the dish it’s wow factor as the chicken is then deliciously moist and tender.

Time-saving tip! Cook an extra piece of chicken at the same time – this cut is so easy to slice it is ideal in a salad or sandwich for lunch the next day.

Serves 4


4 chicken (breast) supremes (available from your butcher, all bones removed except wing bone)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

200 mls buttermilk
1 clove of garlic
Sprig of thyme

  • Put the chicken breasts into a freezer bag or plastic container together with the buttermilk, thyme and garlic and leave to marinade overnight.
  • When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Pour away the marinade and pat the chicken breasts dry
  • Heat an oven-proof frying pan, add the sunflower oil and then put the chicken breasts into the pan skin side down until nicely coloured.
  • Season and put in the oven for approx. 25 mins, depending on the size of the chicken

Leeks & bacon
2 leeks washed, and finely chopped
Good knob of butter
100g finely diced smoked bacon
Half tsp flour (optional)*
2 tsp crème fraiche (optional)*

  • Add the butter to a saucepan and when melted add the leeks and bacon.
  • After 3 to 4 mins when the leeks have released their juices, if using add the flour and a little splash of water.
  • Cook for a further 2/3 mins until the leeks are soft but still have their bright, green colour. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the crème fraiche (if using).

*The flour and crème fraiche add a touch of luxury as they thicken the mixture and make it creamy however it will still taste delicious without them.

Serve with basmati rice, soft mashed potato or some sweet potato chips. Enjoy!


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