Saturday night was Guy Fawkes night here in England, so across the country, village greens were holding bonfires and burning effigies of Guy while people were setting off fireworks in their back gardens.  Regardless of the chilly, damp weather, it’s always a fun night that calls for warm-you-up food, whether it’s a stew or a piping hot sausage roll.

To me, there is no better combo than chicken and leeks, they were just made for each other – especially if you throw some mushrooms into the mix.  And this recipe really plays up their strengths – serve it with mashed potato or rice and you have a winner!  Me, I brought home some fresh sourdough bread from the Hammersmith Market and toasted a nice, thick slice, spread a little butter and ladled the stew right over it.  yumyumyum.

Chicken and Leek Stew

  • Olive oil
  • 4 leeks, cut into 1/2″-thick rounds
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into a small dice
  • 2 ribs celery, trimmed and cut into small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • flour, salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 lbs chicken thighs fillets, cut into thirds
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 heaping tsp dried tarragon
  • 3 Tbsp sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 2 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard

In a wide pan with a lid, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat and chuck in the leeks, carrots and celery, cover and cook for 10 minutes until soft, remove the lid, raise the heat to medium and add the mushrooms and garlic.  Cook for another 5 minutes or so, then remove from the pan and set aside.  Add a little more oil to the pan and raise the heat to medium high.  While it’s coming up to temperature, dredge the chicken pieces in flour that’s been seasoned with the salt and pepper, then brown in the pan a few pieces at a time.  As the pieces brown, remove them to a plate and set aside.  Once they’re all done, add all the chicken and vegetables back to the pan, then pour in the chicken stock, frozen peas and dried tarragon and bring it to the boil then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes.  To serve, stir in the sour cream or creme fraiche and mustard.