Chicken With Leeks is a simple recipe that contains chicken breasts cut into strips with leeks, carrots, and mushrooms. It doesn’t take long to make and give to your family and friends.
At the heart of this dish is a chicken pot pie. However, the extra leeks and cheesy sauce give it a whole new character and you can eat it with your hands!
Pan-Roasted Chicken With Leeks
- Level: Easy
- Total: 40 min
- Prep: 10 min
- Cook: 30 min
3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bunch leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges, for servingAdd to Shopping List
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Put the bacon in a large heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet and cook over medium-high heat until some of the fat renders, about 5 minutes. Push the bacon to the side of the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add it to the pan and cook, turning, until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and leeks, then arrange the chicken on top of the bacon-leek mixture. Transfer to the oven and roast until the chicken is golden and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 160 degrees F, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter.
- Carefully return the skillet to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the broth and half-and-half and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Spoon the leek mixture over the chicken. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.
- Per serving: Calories 418; Fat 24 g (Saturated 8 g); Cholesterol 147 mg; Sodium 322 mg; Carbohydrate 14 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 34 g
Nigel Slater’s recipe for chicken with leeks
This classic yet adaptable dish makes a wonderful winter warmer
Warm 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large casserole over a moderate heat. Add 6 chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook until they’re pale gold in colour – it should take about 7-8 minutes. Wash 3 medium leeks thoroughly, shake them dry, then cut them into pieces the length of a wine cork. Lift the chicken out and add the leeks to the casserole, then cover the pot and let them cook over a low to moderate heat until soft. A matter of 12-15 minutes or so, stirred regularly, should do it.
Sometimes I introduce some garlic, other times I don’t
Pour in a glass of white vermouth such as Noilly Prat, then grate in the zest and squeeze in the juice of a lemon. Pour in 500ml chicken stock and return the chicken thighs to the pan, this time placing them skin-side up. When the liquid boils, immediately lower the heat so the chicken simmers. Partially cover the casserole with a lid and leave it to cook for about 20 minutes. Just before you’re ready to serve, pick and chop the leaves from a small bunch of parsley and stir them in, correcting the seasoning as you go. Serves 3
Make sure that you get some good colour on the skin of your chicken thighs, frying until lightly crisp before you add the other ingredients. Try not to let the leeks brown; instead, keep them soft and pale. They will be sweeter that way.
This method is a sound starting point for you to rearrange and adapt according to your taste. Add other ingredients and seasonings at will or as to hand, such as green olives, capers and chopped gherkins. Tarragon leaves are good here, as are chopped thyme leaves. Sometimes I introduce some garlic, added with the leeks, but other times I don’t.
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creamy chicken with mushrooms and leeks
Creamy chicken with mushrooms and leeks is my favourite easy dinner – chicken pieces are cooked in creamy sauce, with caramelised chopped leeks and mushrooms. Serve on its own or with plain pasta.
How to make chicken less boring?
Chicken is rather boring. Admittedly it is very versatile as it will take on any seasoning you can think of and nobody tends to dislike it. Hot and spicy, creamy and cheesy, roast or stir fried, chicken is the original food canvas.
Still, I can’t say it is terribly exciting, and chicken breast fillet is the most boring of its parts. Unimaginatively cooked, it is usually dry and crumbly and devoid of flavour.
But it’s easy to cook, so I like everybody else (except vegetarians) often do. In the past my go-to chicken breast dish was really boring: the whole fillet roasted and sliced into a salad. Until I came across a recipe for creamy chicken, cut into chunks and cooked in a creamy sauce.
I have long forgotten the source of the recipe (apologies, Original Creamy Chicken Inventor), nor do I remember what the original flavour was because ever since I started experimenting with different variants.
That’s because this is a chicken dish matrix, a chicken template, a chicken archetype. Basically, you can chuck in any chopped-up vegetables, and the kind of seasoning you like or think will go well with chicken and cream (which is just about EVERYTHING) and it will work.
The recipe below is my favourite variation: with leeks and mushrooms, tarragon and coriander.
How to cook creamy chicken?
It is a one-pan dish, which is another great thing about it. And it’s super easy.
The chicken should be cut into bite-sized pieces or strips. It’s always good to sprinkle any meat with salt as much in advance as you can, to enhance the flavour and texture, but since it’s chicken not 28-days aged beef, the rule isn’t stringent.
Browning the chicken won’t take long at all and don’t fret it isn’t absolutely cooked through – it will be cooking in the sauce again at the end of the process. When sufficiently browned, scoop the chicken out and set aside.
No need to clean the pan as the leeks can go straight in, with a little butter for flavour. I like the leeks sliced quite thickly, so there’s a bite to them, and they’re lovely if caramelised in places. To achieve that, let them sit in the pan without stirring, over rather high heat, for a minute or so before the mushrooms join them.
And then it’s just the matter of adding the herbs and pouring in the cream. Again, it’s good to leave the cream to bubble vigorously over high heat for a spell, so it cooks down and reduces. And when the chicken returns to the pan, the heat can be turned down to simmer and the thickness of the sauce adjusted by adding a splash of water or leaving the dish to a cook little longer.
I like it best when the sauce is much reduced and just coats the chicken and vegetable pieces like a creamy glaze. But if you’re going to serve it with pasta, you may well add a large splash of the pasta cooking water to loosen it up.
So many options! You can follow the recipe swapping leeks and mushrooms for spinach and garlic, roughly diced tomatoes, even oranges and raisins, sliced fennel and gorgonzola, simply Parmesan or nothing but lots of tarragon and grainy mustard.
Adjust the cooking time for the vegetables accordingly: spinach needs no time at all in the pan, while fennel will take a while to soften. Add more cream if you prefer it saucy, replace cream with coconut milk for non-dairy versions and swap double cream for soured to cut down on calories.
More easy chicken recipes
Chicken breast and vegetable tray bake – it’s good for a weeknight dinner and impressive enough for easy entertaining.
Lemon chilli chicken in creamy sauce, zingy and lemony, made with chicken breast strips, ancho chillies and whole lemon quarters. Best served over pasta or plain rice.
Chicken saltimbocca is a twist on the Italian veal dish but it’s just as tasty: chicken breast, Parma ham and sage leaves in a crispy package.
More leek recipes
Raw and thinly sliced, with cucumber and radish for company and the lightest mayonnaise dressing, leek slaw is vibrant and healthy.
Leeks go as well with fish as with chicken: try halibut with braised leeks, easy, tasty and impressive.
In the season of wild garlic, make sure you use it at least once with creamy leeks, it’s a divine combination.
creamy chicken with mushrooms and leeks
Servings: 4Time: 20 minutes
- 2 large skinless chicken fillets
- 2 large leeks, trimmed
- 200g (7 oz.) mushrooms (oyster or shiitake)
- 1 bunch fresh tarragon
- ½ bunch fresh coriander
- oil and butter for frying
- ½ tsp ras el-hanout spice (or a mix of ground cinnamon and ginger)
- 120ml (½ cup) double cream
- salt and black pepper
1. Cut the chicken fillets into bite-sized chunks.
2. Clean the leeks and slice them diagonally into 1cm thick discs. Roughly chop the mushrooms. Pick tarragon leaves and chop them finely together with coriander.
3. Heat a little oil in a large pan and brown the chicken pieces. Scoop them out of the pan and keep aside.
4. Add a knob of butter to the pan and add the leeks. Cook over medium-high heat without stirring for a minute to let them caramelise a little.
5. Add the chopped herbs, mushrooms, spices and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
6. Give it a good stir and when the mushrooms are cooked through and leeks are tender, pour in the cream. Let it bubble away and thicken, stirring if it threatens to catch.
7. Return the chicken to the pan, stir well and cook for another few minutes over low heat. If serving it with pasta, ad some pasta cooking water to the dish.