Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Quick Chicken with Leeks, Tomatoes & Sherry

Nothing makes me crazier than not having our meals planned ahead. I admit to being so much of a Susie Homemaker that I actually have a good idea of what will be on the family table within the next week. Usually Monday's dinner is a Part Deux of Sunday's meal. I get home late, and it's easy for Chuck to just reheat. But not cooking dinner on Easter threw me a loop, and I totally forgot to get anything going for Monday's dinner on Sunday night. So I'm laying in bed in the wee hours of the morning, just before the alarm goes off freaking out that I was going to have to add making dinner to my morning chores before work. Ugh.

So 6:30 Monday morning finds me in my ratty red robe, standing in front of the stove,  browning boneless, skinless chicken breasts in olive oil. A granny fork in one hand, a mug of coffee in the other.  I  had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with these insipid things and was considering pulling a bottle of barbecue sauce from the pantry, dumping it into the pan and calling it done. But when I'd pulled a bag of frozen strawberries out of the freezer, I also saw a bag of frozen chopped leeks from Trader Joe's.  Chicken breast with leeks sounds much more appetizing than gloppy barbecue  sauce. And boneless, skinless chicken needs something. This chicken dish came together in a flash, and it reheated on Monday night in 10 minutes flat, with a side of rice and green beans. All I can say is that this tastes wonderful and will now officially become a fast go-to weeknight recipe. 

Everything in this great one-pot dinner came from my pantry and freezer. If you don't have frozen leeks, either cut some up yourself, or just substitute onions. Not quite the same dish, but still delish.

Quick Chicken with Leeks, Tomatoes & Sherry

2T olive oil
3 large skinless, boneless chicken breast, split in half and pounded to 1/2"
3 cups sliced leeks, white and light green part only, fresh or frozen, or onions
2 garlic cloves, minced (jarred is fine)
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
(1 T orange or lemon zest, opt.)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry cocktail sherry
1/2 cup water

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat until it ripples. Add the chicken breasts, and brown on both sides; cook them in batches so the pan isn't crowded. Remove the chicken to a plate and add the leeks or onions, and the garlic. Season lightly with salt, and use the liquid produced from the leeks to loosen and browned bits from the bottom of the pan. add the tomatoes, and all the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Place the chicken back in the pan, cover and cook about 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serves 2-4., and reheats beautifully.

Quick Chicken with Leeks, Tomatoes & Sherry

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