Chicken & Leek in Dijonnaise Sauce
This day last week I was Jamie’d. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.
There I was, cradling a cup of tea, gradually becoming one with the couch, watching Jamie Oliver jump about the screen with the boundless energy of a four year old jacked up on Coke and Skittles. So infectious was his joie de vivre that eventually I lifted my lazy backside off the couch and ambled into the kitchen to attempt to replicate the ‘pukka’ he’d excitably ‘bunged’ together on the tellybox.
The below recipe is what I remembered of his version on screen, although I fell asleep during his easy-cook dauphinois so I made mine the old-fashioned way. On an unusually blimmin’ freezing May afternoon, with the wind howling through the house this dinner was absolute balm to the soul, an accidental discovery that’s now a firm favourite in the Gastronomics.ie household. This serves four, and if you have the time some Sunday to do it, it’d make a great cheap and comforting supper for all the family.
Chicken & Leek
- 4 Chicken Breasts
- 4 Leeks, chopped roughly + 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tub crème fraîche + 1 cup white wine
- 1 dollop olive oil + 1tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp black pepper + 1 pinch salt
- Asparagus / green beans / whatever’s green in your fridge, to serve
Dauphinois Potatoes / Gratinated Potatoes
- 3 good big floury potatoes, sliced thinly + 1 shallot, diced tiny + 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tubs crème fraîche + 1 tbsp butter + 1 glug olive oil
- 1 packets shredded cheddar / gruyere
- Get the potatoes on first, they take the longest. Heat olive oil in pan and add shallot and garlic, cooking until golden. Add crème fraîche and reduce heat, stirring until lovely rich sauce appears.
- Butter a medium-depth dish heavily and begin layering process. Dollop of sauce, layer of potato, over and over until you reach the top. Finish with layer of sauce and cheese.
- Cook in oven for about forty-five minutes, or until golden-brown and bubbly and yummy. Use oven gloves to remove and pierce the potatoes with a skewer – if it comes cleanly in and out, the potatoes are cooked, if it sticks or you get resistance, pop the dish back in the oven for a bit longer.
- While they’re cooking, season the chicken, heat good glug of olive oil in a heavy-based pan and add chicken breasts when hot enough. Brown on both sides and then reduce heat allowing fillets to cook fully, probably about 7-8 minutes. Don’t worry too much as you’ll be further cooking them in the sauce.
- Now toss in the leeks and stir well, allowing them to soften considerably but not stick. Then add garlic and Dijon mustard, mixing well. Deglaze with a cup of white wine and allow to reduce.
- Stir in crème fraîche and cook on low heat, stirring regularly, for about fifteen minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and mellow.
- In the meantime, heat some boiling water and cook the vegetables briefly, keeping their firm texture in place.
- To serve, spoon a ladle full of the leek and sauce mixture onto a plate, slice the chicken and place on top. Add a portion of Dauphinois potatoes and the vegetables and cancel all appointments for the evening. You won’t be able to move.
Crème Fraîche: I use crème fraîche because the calories are far reduced, but if you don’t care about fat content (I hate you just a little bit), then definitely go double cream on it. So good it should be illegal.
Dauphinois Potatoes: For the love of God and your fingers, buy a Mandolin to thinly slice the potatoes. They’re about €8.99 – €12.99 in Tesco, TK Maxx, and lots of other places. It does all the hard work and usually leaves your limbs intact.