CHICKEN WITH LEEKS
I love sharing recipes that I make for my family, and I often share recipes that we used to serve at our Greek restaurant. In many cases, like this one, those recipes overlap! Chicken with Leeks is one of those great dishes that can be made at home for a casual meal, fancied up for a dinner party, or even made-to-order at a restaurant. I love it because it is so simple and incredibly delicious. It is also a lighter meal that’s nice to have in your repertoire when you need it.
The longest part of this recipe is cleaning the leeks. Leeks grow in the garden in a way that a lot of dirt gets between the layers of leaves. In this episode you’ll see my special method for cleaning leeks (yes, I know how it looks!), and I swear it works like a charm. You want to make sure you clean your leeks very thoroughly so all the dirt is washed away. If you don’t, you’ll have gritty food! Once the leeks are cleaned you can proceed with poaching the leeks on the stovetop.
As the leeks cook you can prepare the chicken. It doesn’t take long and only requires a little bit of stovetop frying. The result is a lovely, tender chicken breast that pairs beautifully with the tender poached leeks. In this episode you’ll also see my method for tenderizing chicken breasts. It is very effective and – I'll admit – a little cathartic after a busy day! Don’t skip this step when you are cooking the chicken because it makes such a difference in the outcome of the dish.
I like to serve this dish with one leek on top of each chicken breast and the sauce drizzled on top. It looks lovely on a platter when you are having guests over, and this is how we served it on plates at our restaurant. The flavors are intended to complement one another so be sure to serve them together in whatever way you choose. We hope you enjoy this easy dinner at your home soon!
Kotopoulo me Prassa (Chicken with Leeks)
This recipe is a great weeknight meal. It comes together very easily, and I serve it with a salad on the side. Make sure you clean the leeks really well – I demonstrate how to do that in this episode!
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 bunch of leeks (2 pcs), cut into 2-inch pieces and cleaned well
Approx. 4 cups of water (enough to cover the vegetables)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup dry white wine (like a sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio)
2 tbsp Chicken Base (low sodium)
4 pcs. Chicken Breast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups vegetable frying oil
2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in ¼ cup cold water (slurry)
2 teaspoons salt
Add the cleaned leeks to a stockpot and add the water until they are completely covered.
To the stockpot add the butter, white wine, and chicken base. Bring the broth to a simmer and cook it over medium heat for about 18-20 minutes, or until the leeks are fork tender.
While the leeks are cooking, prepare the chicken.
Cut the chicken into two pieces so there are 8 pieces total.
Place the chicken between two sheets of parchment paper and pound each one with a meat tenderizer until it is ¼-inch thick.
Add the flour, salt and pepper to a pie plate. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour so they are fully coated and then tap off any excess flour. Place it in a pan until you are ready to cook it.
Add the oil to a large sauté pan with high sides. Bring the heat to medium-high and let the oil warm up until a flick of flour in it sizzles on top.
Add the chicken to the hot oil and cook each piece until cooked through The chicken should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. About 6-8 minutes per side.
Remove the chicken a clean serving platter.
When the leeks are completely cooked and fork tender, remove the leeks from the pot and place them on top of the chicken on the serving platter.
Use the leek broth in the pan to make a sauce. Add the salt and the cornstarch slurry to the broth and whisk it well until combined. Bring the mixture back to a low boil for about 5 minutes and continue whisking until the sauce thickens slightly.
Turn off the heat and spoon the broth over the leeks and chicken and serve warm!
Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203.658.8659.