Braised Chicken with Honey Lemon Leeks

Chicken Thighs with Honey Lemon Leeks

Chicken Thighs with Honey Lemon Leeks

Some of the earliest vegetables to be harvested from the garden are those from the onion family.  Known as alliums, there’s more to these beauties than just the round white onions that we all know.  If you peel back the layers you’ll discover the delicate flavor of leeks, chives and young green onions.  Even the flowers taste good, and they make a lovely garnish on a platter when onions are in a starring role.

 

Leeks were in abundance at the farmer’s market this week;  big, fat ones with long white stalks.

Big fat leeks, honey and lemon.

Big fat leeks, honey and lemon.

If they have been growing in particularly wet, muddy soil, they can be somewhat of a challenge to clean, requiring much rinsing to remove the grit.  However these were exceptionally clean, and I couldn’t wait to cook something with them.  Mr. D’s most favorite soup is potato-leek soup, and that is what I usually make (I probably will still make some), but I decided to give this recipe a trial run because it incorporates honey to help caramelize the leeks.

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Using chicken thighs with bone, allows you to cook this dish slowly so all the flavors blend.  Lemon partners well with the leeks, which cook twice.  They are first sautéed, then roasted to meld with the honey and lemon.  This is a dish that takes you by surprise at how “stinking” good it is;  nicely browned chicken, and tender roasted leeks nestled together.  Serve with a salad and some garlic bread, or rice and a green vegetable.  I think you will love this chicken dish.

BRAISED CHICKEN WITH HONEY-LEMON LEEKS

Yield:    serves 4

Ingredients:IMG_7318

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 8  bone-in skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 4 cups thinly sliced leek (about 3 large)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or chives (optional)

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.

2.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat.  Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Massage lemon rind into chicken.

3.  Place chicken in pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned.  Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.

Browning the chicken.

Browning the chicken.

4.  Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan swirl to coat.  Add leek and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 15 minutes or until leek begins too brown, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Remove pan from heat; stir in lemon juice and honey.

Sautéing the leeks.

Sautéing the leeks.

5.  Return chicken to pan.  Mound leeks on top of chicken thighs.  Bake at 400*F. for 20 – 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165*, and juices run clear.   Garnish with fresh parsley or chives, if desired.

 

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SOURCE:    Cooking Light

Check out these other recipes that also incorporate leeks:

Pappardelle with Salmon and Leeks

Brown Rice Pilaf

Mushroom, Leek and Cheese Frittata

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Roasted Chicken Thighs with Mustard-Thyme Sauce

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Mustard-Thyme Sauce

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Mustard-Thyme Sauce

I have spent uncountable hours of my life cooking chicken.  Chicken with and chicken without.  Chicken whole and chicken parts.  Chicken roasted, broiled, grilled, sautéed, fried, sauced, souped, and brothed.  (new word here.)  Am I bored with chicken, you ask? No, in spite of umpteen ways of cooking chicken, I am not bored with it, and hope you are not either.  I like to compare chicken to someone who is a “universal blood donor”,  having something for everyone.  (Sorry about the example, but I’m a medical person.) Everyone probably has a favorite dish that uses chicken in one form or another.

So, if all of the numerous chicken recipes already on this blog have left you feeling bleh, maybe, just maybe, this is the one that will compel you to march into your kitchen and start cooking.  I particularly like this one because of the sauce.  I’ve grown very fond of mustard sauces and paired with thyme, this is very good.  It also makes enough to spoon over the chicken and rice, noodles or potatoes that you may serve with it.  In my opinion, chicken with sauce is always better than chicken without.

When I am using my oven to prepare an entree like this, I like to also make a side dish that will be oven cooked as well.  The side dish I made was roasted red skin potatoes with green beans, since they cook at the same oven temperature as the chicken and for a similar length of time.  Turns out they were a good accompaniment to the chicken.  While all that was roasting in the oven I was able to make a salad to complete the meal.

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ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS WITH MUSTARD-THYME SAUCE

Yield:   Serves  4

Sauce ingredients.

Sauce ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 cup no-salt added chicken broth, divided
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 425*F.  Lightly grease an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

2.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Remove chicken from pan and place in the prepared baking dish.

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Bake at 425*F for 16 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165*.   Remove chicken from dish and reserve the drippings.

3.  Return skillet to medium-high heat.  Add butter; swirl to coat.  Add onion and thyme; sauté  5 minutes or until tender.

Sauté onions with thyme.

Sauté onions with thyme.

Combine 3 tablespoons chicken broth with the flour in a small bowl.  Add flour mixture, remaining broth and reserved drippings to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.   Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat, and add mustard, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring with a whisk.  Serve sauce with chicken.

To make the Roasted Potatoes with Green Beans:   Wash and quarter 4-5 red skin potatoes, and place in a shallow baking dish.

Red-skin potatoes, quartered.

Red-skin potatoes, quartered.

Add in about 10 oz. fresh green beans and 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves.  Drizzle over the top 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat well.   Bake at 425*F for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring once.  Pierce the potatoes with a sharp knife to test for doneness.  Serve with chicken, spooning the sauce over all.

Roast potatoes with green beans.

Roast potatoes with green beans.

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SOURCE:  Cooking Light

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Onion

Roasted chicken thighs with fennel and onions.

Roasted chicken thighs with fennel and onions.

Weekend suppers usually revolve around an oven baked dish in my household, especially during the cold weather months.  We love chicken in all its many forms and (dis)guises.  Roasting a whole chicken is great when you have a lot of time, but sometimes you would like roast chicken without spending the time.  I’m not talking about rotisserie chicken here, although that’s always good, too.  You can get the end result of roast chicken by using smaller pieces that cook so much faster.

For a weekend meal I prepared a chicken dish that I haven’t made in quite a long while:  bone-in chicken with a herb-garlic mixture rubbed under the skin,  on a bed of fennel, and onions.  Here is my 45-minute version.

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FENNEL AND ONION CHICKEN

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 4 large bone-in chicken thighs

    Cutting up the fennel and onion.

    Cutting up the fennel and onion.

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 large bulb fennel, cut into wedges
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.

2.  Combine 1 teaspoon olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.  Loosen skin on thighs by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.  Rub garlic mixture under loosened skin.

Make a paste with oil and herbs.  Rub under skin of thighs.

Make a paste with oil and herbs. Rub under skin of thighs.

3.  Heat a large ovenproof skillet oer medium-high heat.  Add 1 teaspoon oil; swirl to coat.  Add chicken thighs to pan, skin side down; cook 4 minutes.  Turn thighs over and brown other side.   Remove from pan and set aside, reserving any pan drippings.

Brown the thighs and set aside.

Brown the thighs and set aside.

4.  Into the drippings in the skillet, add the fennel and onions.  Over medium heat, toss to coat and brown them a little.  Pour in chicken broth.  Remove skillet from heat.

Lightly brown the fennel and onions.

Lightly brown the fennel and onions.

5.  Place chicken thighs on top of vegetables and place skillet in the hot oven.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until chicken juices are clear and vegetables are tender.

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SOURCE:    Rachael Ray magazine

Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs

I don’t know of a food more universally well-liked or commonly eaten than chicken.  We certainly eat it quite often.  For that reason I feel the need to have a large variety of recipes featuring chicken.  Whenever a new one comes along that looks interesting I try it out.  The recipe in todays’s post is a new one for me that I took for a walk around the kitchen this weekend.  It turned out quite well, and was tender and tasty.

Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs

The preparation of this dish is simple:  mix up the marinade ingredients in a plastic zip-lock bag,  add in the chicken pieces,  marinate for at least an hour, then oven bake or cook on the grill. The marinade provides a nice flavor of maple mixed with the typical asian ingredients of  soy sauce,  fresh ginger, and sesame oil. A little crushed red pepper flakes gives it some “punch”.  This recipe will be a keeper in my file for chicken dishes.

MAPLE-SOY CHICKEN THIGHS

SERVINGS:   4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2  cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled, grated, fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs ( I had a package of mixed drumsticks and thighs )
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions

1.  Combine first   7 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Place in a large zip-top plastic bag.  Add chicken thighs to the bag and seal.  Marinate in refrigerator  at least 1 hour.

2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees or prepare grill.

3.  Remove chicken from bag, reserving marinade.  Place marinade in  a small sauce pan over medium heat;  Bring to a boil.  Cook until marinade reduces to 1/4 cup (about 5 minutes).  Arrange chicken in a single layer on a foil-lined  baking sheet,  or place on grill.  Baste with the maple mixture,  sprinkle evenly with salt.  Bake chicken at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  Turn pieces over, baste again and continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until chicken is done.  Same procedure for cooking on a grill.  Before serving, sprinkle with green onions.

To complete this meal I served fresh green beans and couscous, adding some orange sections and sliced almonds to the couscous.   This, along with a glass of our favorite chardonnay, was a most enjoyable dinner in deed.  To finish it off in grand style we had home-made peach ice-cream.   Dee-lish!  I’ll be telling you about that tomorrow.

SOURCE:  Eating Well