Saturday, 26 February 2011

It's Leeking again!

I love cooking with leeks.  It feels right, somehow, using them as often as I do when I live in Wales, but I suspect that I would use them almost obsessively wherever I lived.  They give a delicacy of taste that onions, however useful (and they are) in cooking, simply cannot provide - leeks are, to me, definitely the blushing ingénue to onions' dashing cad.   They go particularly well with chicken, cheese (ooh, leeks and blue cheese...) and ham or bacon, but I also love them with black pudding and with salmon.  Mustard is another friend of the leek, and this wholegrain mustard-spiked chicken dish is a great favourite of ours.

Chicken with Wine and Mustardy Leeks

8 chicken thighs
5 leeks, halved and sliced
200ml white wine
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
200ml chicken  stock
15g butter

Heat a little cooking oil in a casserole pan and brown the chicken well all over.  Remove to a plate and set aside, then put the sliced leeks into the pan and cook, stirring, until soft.  Add a splash of boiling water from the kettle to help scrape up any chicken bits from the bottom of the pot as you stir.  Stir in the mustard and add the stock. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and stir in the butter until it melts.  This will help to emulsify the saucy leeks a little.  Put the chicken pieces back on top of the leeks, pop the lid on and transfer the pan to the oven.  Cook at 160°c for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes to crisp the chicken skins and reduce the sauce a little.

I served this with a pan of brown rice, and we had pre-dinner munches on root vegetable crisps (with a cheeky G&T for me!)

Cath xx

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