Assuming that I’m not alone in my attempt at balancing a manic end of year schedule, I’d like to offer temporary respite by way of this Chicken and leek casserole. With a creamy white wine and mushroom sauce, this Mid-week supper is simple to make and a huge crowd-pleaser. In our family, pan-mopping is an indication of very good food. A crusty loaf would come in very handy here. It’s a homely dish that comforts and restores calm.
What I really love about this creamy chicken and leek casserole is the simplicity of ingredients. Nothing wild or exotic on the list that requires a food garmin to track down. Just a couple of the usual suspects that can easily find their way into your shopping trolley – Chicken thighs, leeks, mushrooms, a bottle of white, cream and parsley. Friends forever! Another easy stove-top chicken supper that’s a complete doddle to make but with bags of flavour is this Sun-dried tomato chicken.
A quick word about the chicken. I use skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs. Brown meat is so much more flavoursome than white, but feel free to use whichever you prefer. Remember though, reduce the cooking time by at least 10-15 minutes if using the fillets. Leeks and shallots impart a subtle sweetness to the sauce and are pair well with mushrooms and chicken. For a herby freshness, finish with heaps of flat leaf parsley. I like to serve this casserole with steamed green beans, tender-stem broccoli and some wild rice. Roast butternut and sweet potatoes are also a favourite. Hearty and so comforting.
Chicken and leek casserole
- olive oil, for cooking
- 8 chicken thighs, (with or without skin)
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 3 medium sized leeks, thoroughly washed and chopped into rounds
- 250g button mushrooms, sliced
- several stems fresh thyme, de-stalked
- zest of half a lemon
- 80ml (1/)3 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
- 250ml cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- flat leaf parsley
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large based frying pan. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. Brown on both sides until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the shallot and leeks to the pan and sauté for several minutes or until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook on a medium-high heat until all the liquid has reduced. Season with salt, black pepper, thyme and lemon zest. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Reduce down by half and then add the chicken stock and cream. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, cover partially with a lid and simmer for about 40 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. (I usually turn the chicken over once during the cooking time to ensure the flavours is evenly absorbed)
- If you’re going to be eating the skin, I’d suggest you place the dish under the grill for several minutes to crisp up the skin. Scatter with plenty of flat leaf parsley and serve immediately.