A wicked nor’easter and a plethora of sagging leeks pretty much determined the choice of recipe for this week’s post. Originally, I had planned to prepare Marcella Hazan’s Pan Roasted Pork Loin with Leeks after the grocery store delivered two bunches of the leafy alliums rather that the two individual ones I had ordered. However, when Mother Nature graced us with the worst snow storm of the season, getting to the market to procure the loin was no longer an option.
Housebound by the weather, I looked through my cookbooks for other leek recipes but most that I found used a single leek and I had five on hand. I then turned to the web, where I found a recipe that called for three and for which I had almost all the other ingredients on hand except for drumsticks and half-and half, for which I respectively substituted thighs and heavy cream: Pan Roasted Chicken with Leeks.
The recipe first appeared almost 11 years ago and since that time has maintained its five-star rating. While requiring only a minimum of prep and about 30 minutes of cooking time makes it a perfect meal for a weeknight supper, its velvety cream sauce might even elevate it to dinner-party fare.
Although we were both looking forward to the pork option, we truly enjoyed this dish. The chicken was moist and tender and infused with the sweet oniony essence of the leeks. The sauce was silky smooth and coated the chicken with savory bacon and subtle garlic flavors.
After his final bite of the dish, my husband quipped: “Leeks and bacon—a match made in heaven.”
I served the chicken accompanied by buttered peas.
Pan Roasted Chicken with Leeks (adapted from a recipe by the Food Network Kitchen)
3 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), patted dry
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Put the bacon in a large heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet and cook over medium-high heat until some of the fat renders, about 5 minutes.
3. Push the bacon to the side of the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add it to the pan skin side down and cook, turning, until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the leeks and scrape the bottom of the pan loosening any brown bits. Stir in the garlic, and then arrange the chicken on top of the bacon-leek mixture.
5. Transfer to the oven and roast until the chicken is golden and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees F, about 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter and cover loosely with foil.
6. Carefully return the skillet to the stove top over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the broth and half-and-half and cook, stirring, 2 minutes and making sure to scrape up any brown bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
7. Stir in the parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.
8. Spoon the leek mixture over the chicken. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.
Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
2 thoughts on “Pan-Roasted Chicken with Leeks”
I adore leeks, and this definitely looks like a match made in heaven! 🙂
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