Chef Shahir cooked up this meal featuring chicken and leeks – a classic and oh-so tasty combo. Leeks are often overshadowed, but in this dish they get a chance to shine. Part of the onion family, their mild onion taste makes them a perfect accompaniment to chicken and rice. Topped off with a delicious white balsamic glaze, it’s a simple but satisfying dinner that will have you seeing leeks in a whole new light.
4 chicken breasts, skin on, boneless
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
6-8 small leeks
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
¼ cup honey
1 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
Water, as needed
Season chicken breasts generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Place chicken breasts skin side down and cook for 6-8 minutes. If you try and flip the chicken and the skin sticks, it’s telling you it needs more time. Flip the chicken when ready and cook on the other side for another 6-8 minutes. Internal temperature should reach 165F. Remove chicken from pan and let rest on a plate sealed with tin foil to keep heat and moisture in.
While the chicken cooks, prepare your leeks. Remove outer leaves, trim off dark green tops and root ends but make sure leek stays intact. Clean leeks thoroughly under running water. Slice leeks in half lengthwise, dry and set aside. Thinly slice dark green discarded part of leek and soak in ice cold water for 5-10 minutes until they start to curl. Use this as a garnish.
To the pan with chicken drippings, add remaining olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, honey and stir. Place leeks cut side down in chicken pan and season with salt and pepper. Let sear for about 3-5 minutes until browned and caramelized. Flip leeks cut side up and add white wine. Simmer on medium high for 15 minutes or until leeks are tender. Add water as needed if wine evaporates before leeks are tender.
To test if leeks are done, pierce with a paring knife. If leeks are very tender and knife pierces easily they are ready. Next add butter to leeks in pan and gently toss so it melts and coats them.
Serve family style on top of cooked rice, pasta or with crusty bread. Garnish with curled leek greens from ice water, enjoy!
Servings: Makes 4 servings
approx. Per Serving