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.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2011
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

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  • 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.

Tips

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 Facts

356.3 calories; protein 32.5g 65% DV; carbohydrates 15.6g 5% DV; exchange other carbs 1; dietary fiber 1.8g 7% DV; sugars 4.6g; fat 18.2g 28% DV; saturated fat 8.4g 42% DV; cholesterol 119.4mg 40% DV; vitamin a iu 1946IU 39% DV; vitamin c 12.7mg 21% DV; folate 65.6mcg 16% DV; calcium 95.4mg 10% DV; iron 3.1mg 17% DV; magnesium 56.6mg 20% DV; potassium 542.5mg 15% DV; sodium 666.1mg 27% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 14% DV.

Reviews (15)

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15 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
06/10/2017
Made exactly as written. Delicious. Have recommended to friends. Will definitely make again! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/26/2015
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2015
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 Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
10/24/2014
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
05/18/2014
so freaking good! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/10/2013
Just made this tonight very tasty! Read More
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Rating: 1 stars
04/13/2013
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.... Read More
Rating: 4 stars
02/13/2013
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/22/2013
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
05/01/2012
a vegetarian version Substituted tofu for chicken added carrots to braised leeks and served over rice- Delicious! The leeks make the dish! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/01/2012
Amazing! My standards were kind of low as I've tried several recipes from this site and was totally disappointed. However this dish was awesome!! It was simple to make required few ingredients and really tasted like something you would get at an upscale restaurant. I boiled up a side of bow-tie pasta and poured a little of the cream sauce over it to make the dish more filling - definitely - complimented the chicken and leeks without distracting from the creamy garlic goodness. Yum yum! I will make this again and will share this recipe with friends and family! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
04/17/2012
very tasty when added chicken I thought there was still too much Broth so I scooped out about a cup. Then instead of adding the cream I left the deglazed cream sauce on the stove and served a tbs on the chicken as to not dilute the flavor too much. Delicious Pros: Easy hands-off meal Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Easy tasty affordable meal This meal was super easy to make and I love that it uses so few and easily accessible affordable ingredients. The meal tasted more expensive and difficult to make than it was. I substituted fresh rosemary sprigs for the fresh thyme and it was super good. The cream sauce was a little thin for whole wheat egg noodles (it would have been better with mashed potatoes the first night) but it reheated thicker the next day. Pros: simple ingredients; easy prep work Cons: takes an hour to cook Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Great I made mine with rice...it was so good. I had never ate leeks before and found that I love it....will def. make again...my husband loved it too... Pros: easy to make items on hand low cost Cons: sauce a little thin Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Super tasty - Leeks are underrated! I'm a self-proclaimed leek lover but I was skeptical at first about how tender the leeks would come out in this recipe - they weren't completely submerged in the chicken broth - but wow! were they tasty (they do take the 40 minutes to braise which is the only downside but not a big deal). As a mom with a busy toddler I also love that there's very little prep to this recipe. The only change I made was instead of buying the thicker chicken breasts I bought thin-sliced chicken cutlets which speeds up the time they cook in the oven and I end up with more chicken pieces/servings. Absolutely delicious! Pros: Easy to make economical Cons: Takes awhile to cook Read More