Monday Meal Makeover: Roasted Chicken Pot with Curried Spinach

This is a heartier selection, and is satisfying without being overly heavy.

The curry and other spices in the spinach adds a unique flavor to the dish — and it's always a crowd pleaser. I replaced all the butter (the meal is normally heavy on butter) with just three (3) teaspoons of olive oil.

Serves 4-6

What you need:

1 whole chicken

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2/3 cup plus 1 cup water

12 pieces shitake mushrooms, sliced

2 bundles each of rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon, majoram

8 fresh garlic cloves (whole & peeled)

14 oz of whole leaf spinach

10 fingerling potatoes (whole)

2 plus one teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

Black pepper

2 tablespoons curry madias powder


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a wooden spoon, stir flour and 2/3 cup of water in large bowl until dough forms. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface into a 30-inch-long-rope. (Refrigerated dough can be substituted). Set aside.

Combine rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon, majoram, garlic and 1 cup of water in 5 quart pyrex pot (with lid) or Dutch oven.

Tie chicken legs together to hold shape. Rub chicken with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and black pepper. Place chicken atop leaf mixture. Place mushrooms and potatoes around chicken in pot. Cover with lid. Moisten the edges of the pot with water. Wrap dough around the edge of the pot and lid. Press dough to adhere and sell well.

Bake chicken for 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes (do not remove the dough crust).

Using a knife cut the dough crust away from the pot. Remove chicken, cut into pieces (breasts, thighs and legs). Cut breasts in half. Two pieces of chicken per servings. Add 2-3 potatoes per person. Drizzle pan juices from Pyrex/Dutch oven over chicken and serve.

Salt to taste.

Curried Spinach Method

Sautee spinach leaves in one teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat (2-3 minutes until al dente). Add curry madias powder to taste.

Ludovic "Ludo" Lefebvre is the executive chef of LAVO at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, which features a Mediterranean menu. He has been named one of the World's 50 Greatest Chefs by Relais & Chateaux. Lefebvre's first cookbook "Crave: A Feast of the Five Senses," was released in May 2005.