Braised Chicken with Tomatoes and Leeks

This? Was totally not bad. Completely passable. Needed to be a bit different to be something I’m super excited about, though. The original version contained tarragon, which is not an herb I have any truck with. You see, it tastes like licorice. I hate licorice. Hate hate. Super hate. The smell can make me queasy (and think, it’s supposed to be good for nausea)! So the resulting recipe lost a major flavor element, and I didn’t ramp up the existing flavors or replace it with anything. Don’t get me wrong — this has potential! I just need to massage it a bit to get it right. I’ve added some ideas at the end of the recipe.

Braised Chicken with Tomatoes and Leeks, adapted from i nom things

6-8 chicken legs, or whole chicken, cut in bits
2 Tbsp. oil or butter (or a mix)
2 leeks, sliced (and washed! those guys are filthy)
1/2 c. white wine
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 c. chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Season chicken bits. Heat oil/butter/oil-n-butter in a large pot until shimmery/bubbly, as appropriate (only butter bubbles) and brown the chicken on at least two sides (try and get rounder pieces like legs on three). Pull the chicken and set aside. Add the leeks to the pot, sprinkle with a bit of salt and sweat, or if you’re very patient go on and caramelize them (I wish I had). Deglaze with white wine, add the chicken back in, dump in the tomatoes (juice and all!), add the chicken stock — you just want to cover the chicken, don’t necessarily need to use all of it. Bring it all to a boil, drop the heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Taste the sauce for seasoning before serving.

Ways to Improve:

Up the tomato flavor: tomato paste, tomato juice instead of/mixed with stock.
Add garlic. Tomatoes, leeks and chicken ALL love garlic.
White beans? White beans would be interesting texturally.
Pick a new herb! Maybe rosemary. Or sage. Or basil. Thyme might be nice. Add that, maybe twice — at the beginning for cooked-in flavor and at the end for a fresh hit of it.

 

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~ by iliadawry on 24 July 2012.

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