Monday, 17 November 2014

Quick Braised Chicken with Leeks & Garlic

Here is a dish that brings together a number of my current interests: leeks, seasoning with vinegar, braising, and getting a meal on the table with a minimum of time and fuss. Well, that last one isn't so much a current interest as a life goal. And I'm not sure this really qualifies as braising, given how quick it is, but it certainly isn't stir-frying either.

Did I say we have great leeks this year? We have great leeks this year!

quantities are per person
30 minutes - 15 minutes prep time

Quick Braised Chicken with Leeks & Garlic

1 medium leek
3 to 4 cloves of garlic
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
OR 2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock or a little more

Wash and trim the leek, and cut it into inch long slices. Peel and mince the garlic.

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a skillet, over high heat, and brown the chicken piece(s) on both sides. Remove them from the pan and set them aside; reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and then the leek pieces. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring regularly, until very slightly browned, and softened. Add the garlic, and stir it in for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and chicken stock, and then put the chicken back into the pan over the leeks.

Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer the leeks and chicken for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring gently once or twice,  until the chicken is cooked and the leeks are very soft.  Add a little more chicken stock if required, to keep the leeks sufficiently moist so as to not stick or scorch, but by the time the chicken and leeks are done, most of the stock should be absorbed/evaporated.

Serve with polenta, rice, potatoes, barley pilaf, or pasta.

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