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Monday, January 16, 2017

All About Leeks and a Recipe for Easy Chicken, Asparagus and Leek recipe

Leeks are considered one of the best foods to have in your diet. This vegetable should find its way into your daily diet. The amount should be 1/2 cup or greater.  Leeks could be cut up very thinly and sauteed. Leeks are related to both onions and garlic. 

Leeks are thought to have come from Central Asia. Grown in Europe for thousand of years possibly. Prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans because of their health benefits. Leeks were used in a number of ways but the benefits to throat was most appreciated. 

It is believed that the Romans introduced leeks to the United Kingdom. The cold weather in the United Kingdom helped the leeks to flourish. Leeks serve as Wales national emblem. Leeks remain even today to be an important vegetable in many Northern European cuisines and are grown in many European countries.

1 whole butterflied chicken (about 4 pounds, see note), neck and backbone reserved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large leeks, whites and greens reserved separately, whites trimmed, washed, and split in half lengthwise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus stalks, trimmed and peeled if necessary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

The oven rack should be at the center position. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season on all sides with salt and pepper. Line a heavy duty baking pan with foil. Place chicken on top of foil, skin side up. Transfer to oven and roast until thick part of breast registers 140 to 150 degrees on meat thermometer (about 45 minutes) Remove from oven, transfer chicken to cutting board and allow to rest 15 minutes.
Chop neck and back bone into 1 inch chunks with a cleaver, heavy chef's knife or poultry shears. Place in a medium saucepan and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally with  wooden spoon til brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add leek greens and bay leaves and cover with water. Simmer 30 minutes, then strain discarding solids. You should have 2 cups. 

Place leek whites in a large saucepan and pour chicken mix on top. After chicken comes out of oven, bring leeks to simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook til leeks are tender and chicken is ready to serve, about 15 minutes. Season leeks and chicken mix with salt and pepper. 

Let chicken rest, Place asparagus in the empty pan that the chicken roasted in. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast til tender and brown about 10 minutes. 

Carve chicken into serving pieces. Transfer leeks to serving platter with slotted spoon so the jus stays in pan. Stir butter into pan til mixed in. Transfer asparagus and chicken to serving platter and pour jus over all Serve.

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