Pan Seared Chicken with Tender Leek, Lemon Rice Pilaf, and Whatever Your Garden Grows Salad

Total Time:
45 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
25 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Pan Seared Chicken:
  • 2 leeks
  • 4 (6 to 8-ounce) pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Lemon Rice Pilaf:
  • 1 tablespoon (1 turn around the pan in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and chopped, about 1 tablespoon
  • 1 (14-ounce) can or 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Slivered almonds, toasted, for garnish
  • Garden Salad:
  • 1/4 pound (a couple of handfuls from produce bins) fresh wax beans
  • 1/4 pound (a couple of handfuls from produce bins) fresh green beans
  • 1 small yellow squash, julienne cut into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 scallions, cut into on a diagonal
  • 2 cups baby spinach or arugula leaves, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons (a couple of splashes) white wine or tarragon vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon and/or fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
Directions

Trim leeks of tough green ends and roots. Split leeks lengthwise, then cut across into 1/2-inch slices. Place sandy slices of leeks into a large bowl filled with cold water. Separating the layers of each slice to free the grains of sand. Allow the sand to settle to the bottom of the bowl. With your hands, gently lift the leeks out of the water leaving the sand and dirt behind. Place the leeks within arm's reach of the stovetop.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to skillet to coat the pan, then add chicken breasts. Brown chicken breasts 3 to 4 minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate.

Add a little more oil to the pan, then pour in leeks. Saute leeks 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add 1 cup wine to the pan and nestle chicken breasts down into leeks. Reduce heat to simmer and cook chicken 5 to 7 minutes longer.

To serve, remove chicken from pan and slice on an angle. Fan and arrange sliced chicken breasts over a bed of Sauteed leeks on each dinner plate or a warm serving platter. Serve with rice and salad.

Pilaf: heat a medium saucepan or pot over moderate heat. Add oil and butter and shallots to the pan. Saute shallots 2 minutes, then add 1 1/2 cups rice. Lightly brown rice 3 to 5 minutes. Add wine and allow it to evaporate entirely, 1 to 2 minutes. Add thyme and chicken broth to the rice. Fill broth can half-again with water or, measure 1 cup water and add to pot. Bring liquid to a boil. Cover rice and reduce heat. Cook rice 20 minutes, until tender.

Stir the zest of 1 lemon and parsley into rice. Transfer lemon rice to dinner plates or warm serving dish and garnish with toasted slivered almonds.

Heat 3-inches of water in a deep skillet and heat to a boil. Add trimmed wax and green beans and julienne sliced yellow squash to the pot. Simmering vegetables in water for 2 minutes, add red peppers and simmer 1 minute longer. You want the vegetables to remain full of color and bite. Drain vegetables and cold-shock under running water in your colander.

Place drained vegetables in a serving dish and combine with sliced scallions and shredded dark garden greens, such as spinach or arugula.

Whisk together mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add olive oil in a slow stream while whisking to get a nice emulsion of your dressing. Add herbs and pour dressing over the salad. Toss salad to combine flavors and coat your vegetables evenly.


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    I thought this dish was very bland. I added some extra spices, like garlic & thyme, but it didn't seem to make a difference. The chicken came out sort of poached for me. I thought if I served it over some creamy mashed pototes it might help. It wasn't bad. To me it then tasted like chicken perogies.
    Wow, such a boring, bland taste. It was a waste of good ingredients in my opinion. This recipe went straight into my wastebasket! Wouldn't recommend it at all.
    This recipe is delicious and easy. I just made the chicken with the leeks. I added grape tomatoes which made it a little more colorful but very tasty!
    I've made this meal twice now and it is very good. My husband and I love the delicate taste of leeks and don't find this to be bland. What it is lacking is color. The chicken and the rice on a plate are about the same color (especially when you use brown rice like I did) and if you do a salad, that is on the side so it still looks blah.
     

     
    To make it more colorful the second time, I did like another reviewer and added swiss chard. As soon as I started cooking it, I realized that was a mistake and I wish I had thought of it sooner. Yes, it added color, but swiss chard has a strong flavor that overpowers the leeks. I had been looking forward to tasting the leeks in this meal and although it was still good with the chard, it was not what I had wanted. Next time I will steam some broccoli and add it on the plate for color.
     

     
    One other change I made was letting the wine reduce and then adding some chicken broth. Then I nestled in the chicken and let it simmer for 20+ minutes (this recipe took way longer than 30 min. Perhaps b/c my chix breast were so thick, but still!) and then thickened it with corstarch/water. This was a nice touch and recommend it if you think the wine was overpowering.
    My husband and I made this together, it was so easy to make. I do agree that the chicken was a little bland, I would highly recommend adding a poultry spice or something to jazz it up. The rice is the best I have ever made, I can't wait to make it again, its a meal in itself. This is a perfect recipe for some one who is watching their waist-line. I have already mass e-mailed the recipe to friends and family.
    I have 4 of Rachael's cookbooks and have flipped past this recipe dozens of times, writing it off as too plain. Boy was I wrong! I made this tonight and my husband and I LOVED it. I did add poultry seasoning (chef paul's) to the chicken with the salt and pepper before browning, and also used half chicken stock half white wine for the chicken instead of all wine. Good idea from an earlier comment. Leeks are really good. They just soak up all the flavor. For the rice - I didn't have shallots so I used onion, and I didn't have fresh thyme so I used dried. I definitely recommend both the rice and chicken.
    I liked it but my husband did not.
     

     
    I think next time I try this I'll thicken up the white wine and leeks before I put the chicken back in. Make a little bit of a sauce.
    I wasn't a fan. The first taste was nice, but the meal as a whole was very boring. My fiance was equally unimpressed.
    I've only made the chicken once -- we liked it just fine. But we really like the rice and have used it as a side for a lemon/artichoke/feta stuffed chicken breast. I love the thyme and lemon combo.
    I had my doubts, but made this based on the other reviews. Wow! This is wonderful! My addition: I put some swiss chard in with the leeks to add more vegetables to the mix. Yum-o!
    I made this dish and i was a little concerned because of the few ingridients. But once again Rachel knows what she's doing. Even my 6-year old loved it. And this was the first time any of us had leeks. Its a keeper.
    Boy, you REALLY have to like wine to enjoy this recipe. I just made the chicken part. The wine was all I could taste. Would not make this again.
    Leave it to Rachael to come up with an easy way to do chicken that you really can't get wrong!! This is a perfect receipe for entertaining... and a very easy and delightful way to introduce folks to leeks. I definitley recommend that anyone try this recipe -- it's truly fantastic and I probably use it once a month!
    Very good
    Delicious--it took longer than 30 minutes, but it was excellent.
    This is the first Rachel Ray recipe I have tried that was not outstanding. The chicken was ok, but, I thought, a little bland. The rice pilaf made up for it though being quite flavorful.
    I was having guests over for dinner and wanted to make something that was healthy and easy. This proved to be a great choice - i only made the chicken dish and served it with roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli - my guests and I loved it!
    This is a fantastic, family-friendly meal that everyone here enjoyed (kids 3-10)
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