Let me just start off by saying that I really loved this dinner. After about 5 good bites, sampling everything and rubbing my crusty bread around in the little bit of sauce that drained to the bottom, I looked Bo in the eyes and said without an ounce of doubt “Yep, this is in my top ten”.
Two minutes later, because I’m always afraid to commit to my favorite meals, I started back peddling, “Well, I’m pretty sure it is. Yep, it’s definitely in the top ten, but that’s as of right now, you now. I’m not committing to top ten for life or anything but right now, certainly for the next few months at least, top ten for sure”.
That’s about as good as you can get from me. And honestly, it deserves it. This meal had everything! Juicy chicken, perfectly cooked and seasoned carrots and potatoes, the sweet, mellow flavor of leeks, and it’s all coated in the lightest sauce that literally begs for some crusty bread to soak it all up.
I can’t take any credit for it though, and trust me, I really wish I could. This is straight out of the pages of Simple Weeknight Favorites, a new cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen that I was lucky enough to receive. I spent a couple of hours reading through the recipes last week, marking each one I wanted to cook with a tab. I did this until I ran out of tabs half way through the book (that alone tells me this book is a winner). The wine-braised chicken was the first recipe I tabbed, and it has instantly made this book a favorite for me!
One last thing: This is easy. And it basically all cooks in one pot. Yeah, it’s basically the perfect meal.
Enough gushing, let’s get cooking right!
Let’s get everything out that we’re using: Heavy cream (or crème fraîche if you have it), white wine (check the amount in the bottle so you don’t have to run to the liquor store like I did half way through prep), chicken thighs, carrots, leeks, baby red potatoes, parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and butter.
Cut the potatoes in half (or quarters if it’s a large one), then season with salt and pepper and toss with one tablespoon of the butter cut into four pieces. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 8 to 10 minutes until tender and cooked through. Give them a toss halfway through cooking though. When done, loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
While the potatoes are cooking get everything measured out and prepped. Pat the chicken thighs dry, cut them in half, and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice out of the lemon, measure out the heavy cream and wine, chop up the parsley, peel and cut the carrots into ½” rounds, and prep your leeks (chopped into about ½” pieces). That seems like a lot more work then it actually is. I was done by the time the potatoes were cooked, so no more than 10 minutes.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet (that has a lid), then put in half of the chicken thighs. Cook for 4 minutes on one side until lightly browned, then remove to a plate.
Here’s the lightly browned chicken thighs. Melt another tablespoon of butter in the pan and repeat with the second half of thighs, cooking for only 4 minutes on one side, then removing to the plate. Tent loosely with foil.
Add the last tablespoon of butter to the pan (Ignore the giant oil stain on the outside, I seriously can’t figure out how I managed that).
Add the carrots and leeks and cook until soft and just starting to brown, we’re talking 5 minutes here.
Add the wine and scrap up any brown bits still stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Nestle all the chicken back into the pan.
Cover, reduce to medium, and let this baby simmer for 15 minutes.
Yep. That’s awesome.
Take the chicken out and put onto a plate, tenting with foil to keep warm.
Now, I added a bit more wine, probably about a half a cup, because I wasn’t paying attention and left the heat too high while taking pictures so the base of my sauce was almost gone. Anyway, lets pretend this is what was left when you took the chicken out of the pot.
Reduce the sauce until it looks like this, thickened well.
Turn off the heat and add in the cream, lemon juice, and parsley.
Now, I strayed here and tossed in the potatoes. I wanted them really well coated in the sauce. I do not regret this decision.
Put the chicken on a platter, then pour the veggies and sauce over top. Please… please serve this with crusty bread. It needs crusty bread!
Alright, closer, if you insist.
I’ll be making this again… soon… like, maybe this week. SO good!
Here’s the printable: