Chicken Thighs with Pear and Leek Sauce

A couple nights ago, I decided it was time to go gourmet with this fancy dish. I had some extra time on my hands and figured I might as well spend it in the kitchen whipping up a three part meal for my family. An hour into the process, I realized I was utilizing all four burners of the stove top and was proclaiming that it felt like I was preparing Thanksgiving dinner. However, the unique sauce and cheesy potato salad made the somewhat time consuming process well worth it.

20130629_162835Ingredients for the Chicken Thighs with Pear and Leek Sauce:

  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed (see Tip)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 large firm ripe pear, peeled and diced
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons currant jelly
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions:

  1. Place sliced leek in a colander; rinse and drain well.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add the leek and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown and soften, about 2 minutes. Add pear and 1/4 cup broth; simmer until the pear is soft and the broth is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup broth and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add currant jelly to the pan and cook, stirring, until melted. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring, and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan and turn to coat with sauce. Serve sprinkled with walnuts.

20130629_162850Ingredients for the Warm Potato Salad with Goat Cheese:

  • 2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese (1/2 cup)
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

  1. Cover potatoes with water in a medium saucepan; season with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon cooking liquid. Let potatoes cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and reserved cooking liquid. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified.
  3. Transfer potatoes to a bowl, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Gently stir in goat cheese, celery, shallot, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Served with some sauteed broccolini, the plate was also visually appealing.

20130629_163449

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