Chicken with Creamy Braised Leeks
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.Advertisement
Trim roots and dark green tops from leeks, leaving 5 to 6 inches of white and light green parts. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise (or in quarters, if large); rinse well. Place the leeks in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, on their sides if necessary, nestling them together. Pour in broth; submerge the garlic and thyme in the broth between the leeks.
Bake the leeks for 40 minutes.
After about 30 minutes, sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from the heat.
After 40 minutes, remove the leeks from the oven and nestle the chicken into them. Add cream and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to the hot skillet (but do not turn the burner back on). Stir up any browned bits and let the cream heat up from the warmth of the pan. Pour the cream mixture over the leeks and chicken.
Return the baking dish to the oven and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast registers 165 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the chicken with the braised leeks, spooning the sauce over both.
Note: It's difficult to find an individual chicken breast small enough for one portion. Removing the thin strip of meat from the underside of a 5-ounce breast--the chicken tender--removes about 1 ounce of meat and yields a perfect 4-ounce portion. Wrap and freeze the tenders and when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry or for oven-baked chicken fingers.
2 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 2 fat