Creamy chicken with braised leeks & carrots

Creamy chicken with braised leeks & carrots recipe

This recipe for creamy chicken with braised leeks and carrots is utterly delicious and a dish I plan to make repeatedly. The leeks cook until melting consistency and the creamy sauce is packed with citrus, rosemary, and thyme flavours. It’s the perfect easy weeknight supper meal but is fancy enough for casual entertaining.

Creamy chicken with braised leeks & carrots recipe

This creamy chicken is inspired by a recipe from a friend Mish at Gourmet Style catering. I used the Maryland thigh and leg cut because that is what I had on hand but would choose 8 thighs if I didn’t have this as it’s my favourite cut of chicken. You could also butcher a whole bird for this recipe and that’s something I love to do too and use the carcass to make chicken stock. I happened to have a small bottle of freshly squeezed naartjie juice from Babylonstoren which was delicious, but orange juice was in the original recipe.

You could fry off the chicken, leeks, and carrots and then transfer them to a large lidded pot / dutch oven to complete the cooking if you don’t have a suitable heavy-based lidded cast iron dish in the right size to do it all in. You can cook this on the stovetop but I generally prefer to do my braises in the oven and reduce all risk of the bottom of the sauce catching. I’ve given both cooking method options. 

This is quite an indulgent dish with a cup of cream, so feel free to reduce the quantity by half in the interest of calorie reduction.

Creamy chicken with braised leeks & carrots

The most delicious creamy chicken with braised leeks & carrots recipe with a orange, rosemary & thyme.
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Creamy chicken with braised leeks & carrots recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes


  • 8 pieces of chicken bone-in, and skin on (8 thighs, or 4 legs and 4 thighs), or one whole bird cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5-6 medium /large leeks washed and trimmed, cut into discs
  • 4 medium carrots peeled and cut into rounds on the bias
  • 2 long sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves stripped and very finely chopped (just over 1 Tbsp)
  • 3 thyme stalks can keep whole
  • 50 gms butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 250 ml 1 cup orange juice (or naartjie / clementine juice)
  • 125 ml 1/2 cup milk
  • 250 ml 1 cup cream
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 sachets of liquid chicken stock – or cubes or pots
  • Serve with rice brown or white basmati


  • Fry the chicken pieces skin side down until brown on both sides. Set aside. In the same pan add the leeks, carrots, thyme, and rosemary and fry over low heat until softened. About 10 minutes.
  • Add the butter and when it's melted, sprinkle over the flour and stir to coat and cook slightly. Add the orange/naartjie juice and deglaze the pan. Scrape any browned bits that may have gotten stuck on the bottom. Then add the milk, cream, honey, and stock and bring it to a bubble.
  • Add the chicken pieces back in (with any juices) and cook for 25 - 30 minutes with the lid on, on the lowest setting. Stir occasionally to ensure the sauce doesn't catch at the bottom of the pan. Or you could pop it in the oven @ 180C / 350F for 40 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking make your rice to serve. You will need around 1 - 1.5 cups of rice for 4 people.  
Author: Sam Linsell

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Creamy chicken with braised leeks & carrots recipe

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Five years ago:  Irish soda bread with rosemary & onion

Six years ago: Baked goats cheese cigars with honey & thyme

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Nine years ago: Baby chickens roasted  in white wine and herbs

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  1. Carolie de Koster says:

    Which fruit juice would you suggest to replace citrus for a citrus allergy? Apple, pineapple, litchi?

  2. Hi Carolie I wouldn’t replace it with any other juice as the citrus gives it the acidity I would find another recipe or just leave it out.

  3. This sounds incredible! I am in the USA, what is an equivalent measurement to a sachet? Tablespoon??? Thank You.

  4. Hi Janet it is about 1 Tbsp of liquid stock concentrate – so enough to make 250ml / 1 cup of stock. So whatever equivalent. A good small stock cube would do the trick too.

  5. Oh my god this looks so yummy !!!!

  6. Heather Scott says:

    my husband absolutely loved this dish. I found it a bit too rich. I think I might reverse the milk and the cream quantities and up the citrus.

  7. Elyss Jennings says:

    I am going to give this a try tonight!

    Can you tell me what % milk you recommend and also which % cream?

  8. Hi Elyss – it really doesn’t matter. Any cream and any milk. Depending on how indulgent you want to go. I only ever use skim as thats all I have at home and generally single cream.

  9. The creamy chicken looks so delicious and very appealing, I really love chicken dishes. Excited to try this recipe this weekend <3

  10. Hi Sara, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do

  11. Hi Heather, yes swapping the milk for cream would make it less rich.

  12. Suzanne von Klemperer says:

    A delicious well-balanced dish! Thank you. I made it last night, served with brown rice and we both loved it. Will make it again soon, maybe add a green salad, but it’s a perfect dish on its own.

  13. Im so glad you enjoyed it Suzanne 🙂

  14. Aly Grubb says:

    so one cup of stock is the equivalent for this recipe?

  15. HI Aly. The recipe calls for just the stock concentrate (cube or pots or liquid (2Tbsp concentrate). and not actual liquid stock.

  16. I make this recipe often. My family loves it and it’s good enough for entertaining also. I replaced leeks with onions and add just a little bit of turmeric for colour. What a hit! Thank you.

  17. Hi Thessa, I’m so glad you love this recipe, it is a real crowd-pleaser

  18. Carma-Jade says:

    Hi Sam, tried this recipe tonight for the first time! Absolutely delicious and got rid of all the cream hanging around from Christmas. Thanks for the share. x

  19. Hi Carma – I am so glad you loved the recipe as much as I do.

  20. if it gets too thick ( i halved this recipe since only had 4 thighs) what should I use? broth, water, more orange juice?

  21. Hi Aly, you can thin it down with any of those things.

  22. Good bones on recipe ingredients but lacking flavor. I realized lack of seasoning during prep so added more thyme and rosemary, thank goodness as it still was not enough. Of course, I salted and peppered the chicken. Next time (if there is one) I may skip the OJ and use sherry in its place. In hindsight, the recipe is not worth the 1 cup of cream calories. I hate posting negative reviews, but this my experience with this recipe.

  23. Thanks for the feedback and sorry you didn’t like the recipe. I think sherry would be a great addition although I love orange and chicken together as a combo. I found the rosemary (2 long stalks are a LOT) and thyme gave it a lot of flavour. Along with 5-6 big leeks, 4 carrots, 2 stock cubes all to the ratio of 8 pieces of chicken is enough. Perhaps your stock was mild or you used less rosemary. I agree the cream is a lot and half the amount would be good enough.

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