This past Friday, I made Chicken and Leeks in Walnut Sauce from The Healthy Slow Cooker.
If you read my original In the Slow Cooker post, you know that I was going to make Sunday slow cooker day. Well, in typical Mara fashion, I’m tweaking things already.
You see, we bumped what was supposed to be our Sunday slow cooker meal to Friday night’s dinner, since the dish seemed like a better fit for Shabbat.
And since we had left-overs, we ate it again last night – which means our Sundays are all off kilter! I’m actually thinking I should just officially change slow cooker day to Friday. With Shabbat coming in early now, not having to fuss too much with dinner will definitely make the day go more smoothly.
Anyway… back to the recipe…
I absolutely loved it and definitely give it two thumbs up!
The only negative is that it looks a bit … pukish. You see??
My eight year old even commented, “It’s weird, because it looks like throw up, but it doesn’t taste like throw-up. In fact, it’s really good!” (Leave it to an eight-year old!)
We all agreed that the chicken was delicious, including our guests. I attempted to visually perk up the plate as much as possible by serving white couscous and bright green broccoli.
Despite the appearance issue, I definitely plan to make this again. (But I totally understand that if you’ve got visually sensitive eaters, you might decide to stay clear.)
Here’s the recipe, including my minor alterations and suggestions:
Chicken with Leeks in Walnut Sauce
- 1 T olive oil
- 4 leeks – cleaned and trimmed, mostly white parts with a bit of green (cut in half length-wise to clean, then slice thinly)
- 4 stalks celery – diced
- 2 cloves garlic – minced (I doubled this to 4)
- 1 tsp dried tarragon leaves, crumbled (I didn’t have tarragon, and didn’t want to buy a costly spice just for this recipe, so I substituted sage leaves)
- 1/2 tsp cracked peppercorn (our grinder is broken, so I just used regular pepper)
- 1 T all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 3 lbs skinless, bone-in chicken thighs – I substituted boneless, skinless chicken breasts and watched my cooking time carefully so it didn’t get dried out.
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
- 1 garlic clove, minced (I used 3)
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T red wine vinegar
1. Heat olive oil in large skillet and saute leeks, celery and garlic together until softened – about 5 minutes. Add tarragon and pepper and saute for another minute until fragrant. Whisk in flour, then slowly pour in the chicken stock, while continuously stirring, and cook on a low flame for about 5 minutes, until thickened.
2. Layer chicken along the bottom of the slow cooker crock, then cover with leak sauce. Our crock is more tall than long, so I actually did two layers (chicken, then sauce, then more chicken, them more sauce) and this worked just fine.
3. Cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
4. When chicken is nearly done, combine walnuts, parsley and garlic in a food processor, until finely ground. Keep the motor running and pour the olive oil and then the vinegar through the feed. Blend thoroughly.
Now here is where I think I will try to deviate from the recipe next time – It called for the walnut sauce (which is really more of a paste) to be added to the crockpot and cooked on high for 15 minutes until the walnuts were totally cooked through. Before I did this, the walnut “sauce” was a gorgeous vibrant green color. Once I added it to the hot chicken, it turned “pukish”.
And since the walnuts were so fine, I really don’t think they need cooking. So, I think I will try adding the sauce right before serving – to keep that vibrant color. I may have to add a bit more olive oil to help keep the color consistency as well.
Lastly, notice that the recipe doesn’t call for salt. You can add it if you really need, but we tend to cook without salt anyway and I definitely didn’t feel like it was missing.
All in all, this is a very easy dish that produces impressive tasting results. I definitely recommend it!
What’s been in your slow cooker lately? Any rave reviews?