Discard the giblets from the chicken, trim off any excess fat from the cavity and neck, and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the chicken inside and out with 1 Tbs. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Stuff the cavity with the parsley sprigs, 3 of the bay leaves (if fresh, crush lightly), 2 sprigs of thyme, and the dark leek greens. Tuck the wings behind the neck of the chicken, using the wing tips to secure any loose neck skin, if necessary. Tie the legs together with string. Let rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon in the oil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Leaving the bacon in the pan, spoon out and reserve all but 1 Tbs. fat.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks, garlic, and the remaining bay leaf and thyme sprigs, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
In the same pan, arrange half of the potatoes in an even layer, season very lightly with salt and pepper, then scatter the leek mixture over top. Layer the remaining potatoes over the leeks, and season very lightly with salt and pepper. Pour the broth over the vegetables.
Pour 1 Tbs. of the reserved bacon fat into the cavity of the chicken. Rub the softened butter over the bird’s skin, and sprinkle with the chopped thyme. Set the chicken, breast side up, on the vegetables.
Roast the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, about 1 hour.
Transfer the chicken to a platter, remove the string, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf and keep the vegetables warm in the turned-off oven.
Sprinkle the potatoes with the chopped parsley, arrange them around the chicken, and serve.
nutrition information (per serving):
38, Fat Calories
340, Saturated Fat
61, Monounsaturated Fat
43, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips