Chicken Smothered in Leeks

I stopped by the Farmer’s Market this afternoon after my Saturday workout.  And after the 45 minutes of steam room and jacuzzi that followed.  The steam and jacuzzi are my reward to my protesting muscles after their workout.  I like it. too.  Quiet, peaceful, relaxing…  I just kinda melt.  It’s great.  But I digress…

I headed over to the bank after to make a quick deposit, and the Farmer’s Market is 20 feet away.  Saturday and Shopping usually do not mix for me, but I was in the neighborhood – literally.

I really didn’t need anything, but I did want to see what was available, and maybe pick up a few rolls for sandwiches.  Walking by one of the two main produce stands, I spied a leek.  Not just any old leek, mind you, but a 24″  (at least) beauty that was all “white and pale green part.’  It was perfect. 99 cents.  Sold.  I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner, but that leek was going to play an integral part.

I picked up a few rolls, some German Bologna and then stopping by to say HI to my friend Michael, I spied a great Santa in his display. It was a cast iron door stop that just screamed “take me home.”  Not only was the price right, Michael gave me an additional discount (it’s his store, afterall!) and happily home I went.

Off to check recipes, I came across one from Gourmet Magazine a few years back:

Braised Chicken Breasts on Creamy Leeks

  • 2 lb medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 lb total)
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Halve leeks lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then brown chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Add wine to skillet and deglaze by boiling over high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes. Add leeks and remaining 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper to taste, then simmer over moderately low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until leeks are wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir in broth.

Top leeks with chicken breasts and juices from plate, then gently simmer over low heat, covered, until leeks are tender and chicken is just cooked through, about 8 minutes .

Transfer chicken breasts to a plate. Add cream to skillet and boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve chicken on top of leeks.

Okay.  That was their recipe.  I changed it just a bit.

I floured the chicken breasts, used 1/2 cup wine and 1/2 cup broth and omitted the heavy cream altogether, and served the leeks on top, rather than beneath, the chicken breast.Otherwise, followed the recipe fairly closely.

I steamed some asparagus and made a brown rice dish by sauteing a bit of green onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms in a bit of olive oil, added 1 cup of water and 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup of brown rice.  Cooked for 40 minutes.  Dash of S&P.

My stomach is smiling, we have a new Santa, my muscles aren’t aching quite as much as they were, and we’re supposed to get snow tomorrow.

Life is good.