Roast Chicken with Herbed Cheese

*Roast Chicken with Herbed Cheese*
Serves 4

The chicken in this recipe stays moist and delicious, whilst the cheese melts out to form a delicious sauce over the vegetables.  I used breasts and they were wonderfully tender and tasty, not dry at all, and the vegetables, well . . . they were just scrumptious!

150g herbed cream cheese (Philadelphia cheese, with garlic and herbs, or Boursin)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
4 whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick joints) OR
4 chicken breasts, skin on
2 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and cut into chunks
2 large parsnips, peeled, trimmed and cut into chunks
2 tsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 20-0*C/400*F.  Mix the cream cheese in a small bowl with the lemon zest.  Loosen the skin from the whole legs or from the breasts, and spread about 2 TBS of cheese in between the skin and the flesh on each.  Press the skin back down over the cheese and season the meat with some salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil.  Add the parsnips and the leeks.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Drain well and then place them in a single layer in a baking dish.  Drizzle with the olive oil and season well.  Place the chicken pieces on top. 

Roast for 40 minutes, by which time the skin on the chicken should be nice and brown and the cream cheese should have melted out to form a sauce on the vegetables.  Make sure the vegetables are tender and the juices from the chicken run clear.  If the vegetables need a bit longer, remove the chicken and keep warm and return the vegetables to the oven for a further 5 minutes or so.

Serve the chicken and vegetables portioned out onto 4 heated plates.