Monday, August 15, 2016

Braised Chicken with Leeks, Peas and Fava Beans

Inspired by a recipe that was featured in Food & Wine Magazine a few years ago, this moist and delicious Braised Chicken with Leeks and Peas is quick and easy to prepare and also makes an elegant weeknight dinner. In addition to the bright green peas, I also added a handful of plump fava beans, an ancient member of the pea family with a nutty taste and buttery texture all their own. Sautéed with sliced leeks, chicken broth and tangy white balsamic vinegar, the peas and fava beans are simmered with fresh herbs and crème fraîche for a light and fragrant summertime sauce, that once reduced is spooned over oven-roasted bone-in chicken breasts and braised together for a few minutes at the end to blend the flavours and thicken the sauce.

Braised Chicken with Leeks, Peas and Fava Beans

Serves 4

4 chicken breasts, bone-in 

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar
6 oz frozen broad beans, thawed and peeled
6 oz frozen spring peas
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 top chopped parsley
1/4 cup crème fraîche

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat the chicken breasts with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Line a baking pan with foil and set the breasts skin side up. Roast for 40 minutes until the skin is crisp and the chicken is cooked through.

In a large sauté pan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high and cook the leeks until they soften, about 6-8 minutes. Add the broth and vinegar and bring to a boil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the broad beans, peas, herbs and crème fraîche and simmer until the sauce is hot and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Set the cooked chicken skin side up on the sautéed leeks, spoon some the sauce over the chicken and braise in the oven for about 5 minutes. To serve, arrange the chicken on a warmed platter with the sauce spooned over top and season with additional fresh ground pepper if desired. 

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