There has not been a whole lot of cooking happening in this house lately. As the semester wears on that's pretty normal, but I had a 30 page rough draft due yesterday for a paper I've been working on throughout the semester and I needed to take it easy. We've had a super chilly, stormy couple of days and this sounded like the perfect comfort food. I've made this stew a couple of times and it is, without fail, delicious. It's thick and creamy, which makes it hard to believe that it's fairly healthy. This is also the first time I've used leeks, and I have definitely been missing out. They're a mild onion, kind of like a huge scallion. If you want that instant 'yum' smell in your kitchen, saute some leeks in olive oil - delicious. This recipe is courtesy of Jamie Oliver. I followed all of the directions, though I used fat free sour cream. Oh, and I added garlic. You could make it without, but why would you ever make anything without garlic?
Jamie Oliver's 'Simplest Chicken and Leek Stew'
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts (discard any discolored ends)
1 pkg. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch pieces
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 and 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 tbsp. chopped thyme
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Aren't the leeks gorgeous!?
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the leeks and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Scrape the leeks and mushrooms onto a plate.
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour, shaking off any excess. heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the chicken and cook over moderate to high heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Add the chicken stock and thyme and simmer over moderate heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about one minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the plate with the vegetables.
3 Simmer the stock over moderately high heat until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Return the chicken, leeks and mushrooms to the skillet and simmer over low heat until warmed through, about 1 minute.
4. In a small bowl, blend the sour cream with the mustard and stir into the stew. Remove the skillet from the heat. Season the stew with salt and pepper and serve.
Serve with: Steamed rice (I used brown).