Recipes like this Chicken with Mushrooms and Leeks are the reason blogs should have more than one contributor. I’m sure there are many of you out there who love a good mushroom, and if I were the only one writing here it’s pretty unlikely you’d come across any good mushroom recipes, meaning you’d have to look elsewhere, which wouldn’t be good for our relationship ;)
While I don’t even claim to like mushrooms, this gravy still gets dumped generously on my potatoes when it’s in my vicinity, so I know it’s a winner. Please welcome my sweet Mom for another guest post!
I am by occupation, at least currently, a teacher. Officially, I have been a teacher since way back in 1981, the same year I wed the love of my life. I have taught every level from Grade 3 to Grade 12.
I have over the years, however, taken years off of teaching to fill the important role of full-time mother to preschool children and, more recently, to work in the kitchens of a couple of small restaurants, the last one being a British tea room. You see, I am a wee bit obsessed with food and it was so much fun spending my days with other ladies who were just as obsessed as I am. Kitchen chat was non-stop about cooking methods, new recipes, and what we were going to make for dinner. I loved it!
But then an opportunity came along to combine both my training and my obsession.
Pick me! Pick me!
This past year I found myself in front of 23 Grade 11 students who needed to learn everything I could teach them about food and then some, including how to actually cook. Not “here, let me demonstrate”, but, here are the ovens, sharp knives etc. Have at it! I have never been easily intimidated in front of a classroom, but I lost sleep over even the thought of letting 23 students all loose at the same time in the kitchen. It didn’t help that, while there were a few who genuinely loved to cook, most were there because they didn’t want to take the alternative…French. Rumour had it this class wasn’t too hard and they would get to eat.
Long story short, it was my favourite subject ever to teach! I would be more than ready for a nap at the end of the class but it was a good tired. The kind of satisfaction felt only by those who can say at the end of the day that the school didn’t burn down and I lived to tell the tale, and, in fact, the food all turned out great.
Now what does all this have to do with my recipe, you may be wondering? I just wanted to set the stage for passing on the most important lesson I taught my cooking students…besides wash your hands and don’t sneeze in the food. Use all of your senses when cooking. Is the pasta done? Pinch it. Is the muffin done? Touch it. Does it need more salt? Taste it. Is it done yet? Smell it. Is it overdone? Wave a towel at the fire alarm.
For this recipe, I want you to think about smell. I am not a great photographer, but when I complained to my husband that the pictures weren’t very tasty looking, he said straight out, “but that’s what it looks like.”
So please believe me that this recipe is delicious and the smell of it when it is cooking is amazing. Just think of the wonderful aroma of leeks, mushrooms, garlic and thyme cooking together, then add a splash of white wine. The end result is delicious, tender chicken and a sauce worthy of your fluffiest mashed potatoes and your favourite family members or friends.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 lbs chicken pieces, skinned
- 2 tbsp butter or margarine
- 3 leeks (white and light green parts only), or 1 small onion, chopped,
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup dry white wine
- In large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown chicken for ten minutes, turning after 5 minutes to brown both sides. Transfer chicken to plate.
- Add butter to pan. Reduce heat to medium and add leeks, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with flour to coat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in stock and wine and boil for 2 minutes.
- Return chicken to pan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, occasionally spooning sauce over chicken, until chicken is done, about 25 minutes.
It is also good using pork chops instead of chicken :) And have hope Sarah…none of you girls (or me for that matter when I was a kid) used to like mushrooms. Now most of you do :)
Mmm, this was one of my favourite dishes when I lived at home! Too bad I’m the only one in my family now who appreciates a dish full of mushrooms! :)