Whole Butterflied Chicken on Apples, Leeks and Potatoes

"This is another of my recipes which is ideal for lazy or busy cooks!! Assemble ahead, refrigerate, then pop into the oven before dinner. All it needs to round out a healthy dinner is a salad with goodies in it! Instead of the cider you could use pure apple juice."
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:
1hr 55mins




  • With a sharp knife or cleaver, cut through the backbone of the chicken. Then with kitchen scissors cut out most of the thin, bony back part. Open the chicken by pressing hard on the breastbone. (I prefer cutting out much of the breastbone as well, but don't cut through the chicken skin). Remove any extra fat flaps.
  • Fry the fennel seeds in the oil, add the sliced leeks, and saute until the leeks have softened, stirring often, over high heat. This takes about 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Using a deep casserole, layer the leeks on the bottom. Cover with a layer of apple slices. It doesn't matter if they overlap. Strew over the crumbled feta cheese, then sprinkle over as much thyme as you like, the garlic, and a little salt and pepper.
  • Put the potato slices on the apple layer: again, they'll probably overlap.
  • Sprinkle the potato slices lightly with salt.
  • Season the inside of the butterflied chicken with your favourite seasoning salt. (My current top favourite is made under the "Peppadew" brand and contains salt, garlic, onion, peppadews, bell peppers and chillies, dried and finely crushed of course).
  • Lay the opened chicken, skin side up, on the bed of leeks, apples and potatoes, and pour over the cider. Season the skin side well with your favourite seasoning, and add extra thyme as well.
  • The dish can now be covered and refrigerated.
  • To bake, heat oven to 350 deg F/180 deg Celsius When the correct heat is reached, bake the dish for 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of your chicken.

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


Have any thoughts about this recipe? Share it with the community!


I'm a widow, retired, and I love cooking. I live on the coast in South Africa and I love seafood. You're welcome to my recipes (all kinds, definitely not just seafood!) Just remember that no recipe is ever cast in stone -- adjust to your taste! The photo was taken at a rustic seaside restaurant on our West Coast, approx 1 year ago (2016).
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes