Tuesday, April 18, 2017

White Balsamic-Braised Chicken with Leeks & Peas

Inspired by a recent recipe from Food & Wine, this delicious Braised Chicken recipe positively shouts springtime with a luscious combination of buttery leeks, baby green peas, fresh tarragon and crème fraîche with a splash of white balsamic vinegar that creates a wonderful tangy cream sauce for this easy and elegant entrée. Although the recipe suggests using whole chicken legs, both plump chicken breasts cut in a half or large succulent thighs would work equally well. Served with a heaping mound of creamy mashed potatoes and crisp french green beans, this dish makes a welcome addition to our culinary repertoire.

Vinegar-Braised Chicken with Leeks and Peas
Serves 6
Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

6 whole chicken legs with thigh attached, bone in and skin on

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 large leeks, halved lengthwise and finely sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
10 oz package frozen baby peas, thawed
3 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves, plus additional for garnish
2 tbsp chopped parsley
3/4 cup crème fraîche

Preheat the oven to 425°F and position a rack in the upper third. Turn the chicken legs skin side down on a work surface and and cut halfway through the joint so that they lay flat, then season generously with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat half of the butter and oil. Add the chicken, skin side up, and cook over high heat until browned, 5-6 minutes. Turn and cook the chicken for another minute or two, then set aside.

Wipe out the frying pan, add the remaining butter and oil and cook the leeks over high heat until they begin to soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the broth and vinegar and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and pour the mixture into an ovenproof casserole.

Set the chicken on the leeks, skin side up and roast for about 25 minutes, until the breasts are cooked through. Turn on the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes, until the skin is golden and crisp. Transfer the chicken to a platter.

Place the casserole over a burner and boil over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the peas, herbs and crème fraîche, and simmer until the sauce is hot and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then pour the sauce over the chicken, garnish with additional tarragon and serve with creamy mashed potatoes and French green beans finished with silvered almonds.

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