Rice with lemon, capers, and butter is one of my all time favorite side dishes! The acidity of the rice pairs perfectly with this nicely roasted chicken legs and melt-in-your-mouth leeks!
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 45 minutes
6 chicken leg quarters
6 slices of low-sodium bacon
3 leeks, white and light green parts only
1 cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/3 cup capers
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup parsley
2 lemons, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Prep Ingredients: Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Slice the bacon into pieces and set aside. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Thoroughly rinse the leeks and trim the bottoms off. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and then in half lengthwise again (you should have four strips from each leek.) Arrange the leeks in an even layer on a roasting pan large enough to hold all the chicken leg quarters, drizzle with 2 tablespoons ofolive oil, and then season with a bit of salt and pepper and set aside. Drain the capers. Juice one lemon and slice the other into wedges. Roughly chop the parsley.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and all the fat has rendered, about 7-10 minutes.
Remove the bacon from the skillet, leaving the rendered fat. In batches, cook the chicken, skin side down until very crispy. Add all the chicken to the roasting pan with the leeks and transfer to the oven and cook for an additional 25-30 minutes or until an thermometer reads 165ºF.
Drain and discard the chicken fat and wipe out the skillet.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare rice according to package instructions.
Once the rice has cooked through, heat the butter over medium high in the same skillet you used for the chicken. Once frothy, add the capers and cook for about 45 seconds. Add the lemon juice, parsley, and reserved bacon and stir to combine. Add the rice and stir to evenly coat with the mixture. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the rice has begun to turn golden brown in spots. Remove from heat.
To Serve: Divide the rice between plates and top with leeks and a chicken leg. Serve with lemon wedges. Enjoy!
Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!