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.
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
- 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.
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Two years ago: Cheesecake brownies with chocolate Romany creams
Three years ago: Tortellini & Italian sausage meatball bake with spinach
Four years ago: Coq au Chardonnay
Five years ago: Irish soda bread with rosemary & onion
Six years ago: Baked goats cheese cigars with honey & thyme
Seven years ago: 45-second chocolate pudding with salted caramel
Eight years ago: Shortbread biscuit balls with chocolate middles
Nine years ago: Baby chickens roasted in white wine and herbs
Ten years ago: Easy raisin scones
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