Thursday, October 10, 2013

In a bowl....


Today was the first real fall day with cooler weather and that distinctive crispness in the air without a hint of humidity. The swirling of multi-colored leaves falling from the sky is like confetti raining down in celebration of the lovely day.

Fall is the start of "comfort food season" in my opinion. I have memories of hot apple cider and cinnamon donuts at farm stands, pumpkin flavored everything, and homey soups.  Today I made a warming dinner in a bowl, and Lillie commented that she things in bowls taste so good. I wondered if that's perception or just that good things come in bowls...soups, ice cream, Asian noodles.

I hadn't tried cooking something new in awhile,  and I had kitchen "wanderlust" of sorts. I satisfied my urge with a braised chicken and leek dish served with rice. For some reason this dinner, which sounds very involved, actually ended up on the table sooner than some of my simpler "go to dishes". I felt a great sense of achievement and contentment for the perfect end to a crisp fall day!

Serve this "stoup", as Rachael Ray would call it, with rice or glass noodles. I used frozen, pre-sliced leeks, which made the process go faster.

Braised Chicken and Leeks

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced in 1/8-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 pounds leeks,washed, sliced in 1/2-inch rings and pieces
6 whole skinless boneless chicken breast, sliced in medallions
salt to taste
white pepper, to taste
 white pepper to taste 

2 cups chicken broth (more as needed)
1 bay leaf

Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat until shimmery. Add ginger and turmeric and heat 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Add leaks and saute for 5-8 minutes, until almost translucent.

Add chicken, salt and pepper, stir to combine. Cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Pour chicken broth over all, not quite to the top of the food in the pot,  and add bay leaf. Cover. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until chicken is no longer pink in the center.

Serves: 6-8

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