Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Using Old Inventory - Creating New Flavors

Good evening everyone! Every now and again Maggie and I like to do something we call “The Great Pantry Cleanout”. Despite its epic name – it’s really not that exciting. Essentially, you dig through your freezer, pantry – etc, and make a few recipes that week based on the ‘extras’ you already had laying around. It’s a great way to save money on your grocery bill and a nice way to clean out your cabinets.

I happened across tonight’s recipe a few months back but never got around to giving it a try. After sorting through our excess food items, this dish came to mind. Nearly everything on the ingredient list we had tucked away in a cabinet or freezer (outside the leeks – which don’t exactly ‘keep’ in a cabinet).

The Recipe: Pan Roasted Chicken With Leeks
Original Recipe Found In: Food Network Magazine

What You’ll Need:
(Serves 4)

3 Slices Bacon (Thick cut works well) chopped into ¼ inch pieces
8 Chicken Drumsticks (or 2 pounds chicken – we’re using breasts)
3 Cloves Garlic (Smashed)
1 Bunch Leeks (White & light green only) halved and sliced thinly
2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
½ Cup Half and Half
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley (2 Teaspoons dried)

Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Place a large (heavy bottom) oven safe skillet on the stovetop over medium high heat. Add the bacon to the skillet and cook until some of the bacon fat has rendered and the bacon begins to brown lightly. Slide the bacon to the side of the pan and add the chicken (lightly seasoned with salt and pepper) to the skillet.

Allow the chicken to cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side – just long enough to develop a nice browning on the outside of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Add the garlic and leeks to the skillet, stirring well to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. Once mixed, return the chicken to the skillet, making sure the chicken is setting atop the leek / bacon mixture.

Place the skillet in the oven and allow the chicken to roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the thickest part of the chicken registers 160-165 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Once the chicken has reached the perfect temperature, transfer the chicken to a platter and set aside.

(Carefully) return the skillet to the stove top over medium heat and sprinkle in the flour. Stir in the flour and allow the mixture to simmer for a minute before adding the chicken broth and half and half. Stir the mixture well and allow it to cook for 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil and allow the liquid to reduce. This should take around 5 minutes. Finally, stir in the parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice – serve the leek mixture over the chicken and enjoy!

The Results:

Chicken is one of my favorite foods to cook with because it’s simply so agreeable with a multitude of flavors. The leek sauce is a true star of this dish – adding a great, onion like flavor with a fresh hint (thanks to the lemon) to the delicacy that is oven roasted chicken. At only 400 calories per serving, this flavorful and healthy meal has something for everyone. Give it a try yourself and see just how good this dish is!

That’s all we have for you tonight. Maggie takes to the kitchen tomorrow night continuing our theme of the ‘Great Pantry Cleanout’. Until then,


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