Chicken with Creamy Braised Leeks

14 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine March/April 2011

A touch of heavy cream, a few garlic cloves and thyme sprigs round out the flavor of tender braised leeks with chicken in this recipe. The rich, silky sauce is wonderful over whole-wheat egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Leeks grown in the garden and those that you find at the store can be vastly different in size. Garden leeks tend to be smaller, so if you're using leeks from the garden, make sure you pick enough to fill up the pan.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 8 medium or 4 large leeks
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 cloves garlic, halved
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5-6 ounces each), trimmed and tenders removed (see Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preparation

  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 425 °F.
  2. 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.
  3. Bake the leeks for 40 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast registers 165 °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.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 356 calories; 18 g fat(8 g sat); 2 g fiber; 16 g carbohydrates; 32 g protein; 66 mcg folate; 119 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1946 IU vitamin A; 13 mg vitamin C; 95 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 666 mg sodium; 542 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (39% daily value), Vitamin C (23% dv), Iron (18% dv), Folate (17% dv), Potassium (15% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 2 fat

Reviews 14

January 26, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Amazing I am no cook but this is now my signature dish. I Used 7 boned-in chicken thighs and cooked about 5-8 minutes longer. I also used more heavy whipped cream so we would have more for left overs. I am in love with this recipe!!!! Served with Butter noodles and a salad. Also garnished with parsley. Pros: Easy and Tasty
January 21, 2015
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By: jwarncke426
Easy AND Delicious I made this recipe the other night and both my husband and I LOVED it. I followed it exactly and didn't have the issues that some other members mentioned. The chicken was still juicy, the leeks were the perfect texture and we had just enough gravy for the two of us to eat and save for leftovers. This also reheated incredibly well, but we used the oven to reheat and not the microwave. The only 'downside' is that it takes about an hour to make, so for us, this is a better weekend dinner and use leftovers for lunch/dinner during the week. Pros: Easy, Basic Ingredients, Tastes Great, Reheats well Cons: Long cooking time
October 24, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
This is one of our favorite cold weather comfort food recipes. I serve it with mashed potatoes and it's fantastic. I usually swap some of the broth for white wine.
May 18, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
so freaking good!
May 10, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Just made this tonight, very tasty!
April 13, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Disliked this We just disliked this all together and I like leeks but it was bland and I have had better. Sorry .... I tried it with high hopes...but not for us. Pros: no pros.... Cons: bland....
February 13, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Spiced it up The first time I made it I thought it needed more zing so I added red and white pepper to the warmed cream. It was delicious.
January 22, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Good stuff I used chicken thighs with skin and did not make a sauce out of the pan dripping from chicken. There was way too much grease and fat for that. I just dropped the chicken in the leeks and broth for about 20 minutes and also added a little bit of white wine and butter, I had some half and half and added a dash. It was great over mashed potatoes. I only used 3 cloves of garlic, becuase we only had 4 leeks and 4 chicken thighs. I may use more garlic next time and maybe some more pepper but otherwise, it was really good. Pros: Easy Cons: Just slightly bland.
April 30, 2012
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By: Jelena
a vegetarian version Substituted tofu for chicken, added carrots to braised leeks and served over rice- Delicious! The leeks make the dish!