Lemon-Oregano Chicken with Braised Leeks with Lemon

I hadn’t planned on last week being The Week of Chicken Two Ways, but that’s exactly what it turned out to be. The leftover chicken breasts from the cayenne-rubbed chicken with avocado salsa that I made on Monday turned into lemon-oregano chicken with braised leeks with lemon on Tuesday.

Lemon-oregano chicken with braised leeks with lemon

It started by looking for a new leek recipe. I’d made a savory leek-and-onion tart, leek-and-onion pizza, and spaghettini with leeks and Gorgonzola (which also had onions in it) and was feeling desperate for a new way to prepare the leeks from my CSA box. When I stumbled across a recipe for braised leeks with lemons, I was psyched—especially since I had CSA-box lemons on hand.

The chicken came in as a protein to go with the leeks. The recipe I used is actually for grilled lemon-oregano chicken drumsticks but I don’t have a barbecue nor did I have drumsticks (just the two leftover chicken breast) so I mostly used the recipe for the marinade.

It was quite simple: While the chicken soaked for a half hour in a mix of lemon juice, fresh oregano, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and lemon zest, I cut the leeks in sixths lengthwise and put them in a bowl of water to soak for 15 minutes. Then I looked up what “braising” is, since I realized I really wasn’t sure.

Lemon-oregano chicken ingredients and mise en place

Lemon-oregano chicken marinade

The leeks and the ingredients for the braised-leek recipe

Braising, I discovered, basically involves searing food at a high temperature and then cooking it for a long time over low heat. Crock-pot and slow-cooked dishes are generally braised meals. For the braised leeks, I melted two tablespoons of butter in a pan over high heat and added the leeks. Within five minutes, the leeks were browned and I reduced the heat, added chicken broth and lemon zest, and covered the skillet.

My leeks, soaking in water, next to the pan I was about to cook them in

The browned leeks before I added the liquids and cooked them, covered

The lemon-oregano chicken cooking in the pan while the leeks cooked on the adjacent element

In a second pan, I heated up oil and started pan-frying the chicken. After about seven minutes, the chicken was cooked and the leeks were tender. I plated half of each with wild rice and packed up the other half for the next day’s lunch.

I loved the leeks—but then, two tablespoons of butter is bound to make you fall in love with just about anything. The real winner of this meal was the leek-chicken combination. The leeks, delicious as they were, were a bit rich and the chicken was a bit bold—tangy even—and so together, they complemented each other perfectly. It was a great dinner (and later, leftovers for lunch) and an excellent new way to enjoy leeks.

Yum! Lemon-oregano chicken with braised leeks with lemon and wild rice

And the next day for lunch

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3 Responses to “Lemon-Oregano Chicken with Braised Leeks with Lemon”


  1. 1 Kay 04/12/2010 at 5:17 am

    Wonderful recipes and pictures.I am enjoying your blog.
    If you still have more leeks coming and it is hot outside try Julia’s vichyssoise (potato and leek soup). It is good hot but heavenly when cold.

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  3. 3 pub quiz archives 07/13/2013 at 3:27 pm

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