Everyday Mom's Meals: Friends Again

Monday, April 23, 2012

Friends Again

When I first started getting into the kitchen and enjoying it more and more, one of my inspirations was Rachael Ray. I think like many home cooks, her ability to get a meal on the table in 30 minutes or less was something I was really needing in my life. Plus, I watched a TON of her on Food Network. Look, I was a stay at home mom and while I loved being w/ my infant, let's face it, he wasn't the biggest conversationalist, so I turned to tv chefs for company! I made many of her recipes both from her tv shows and her cookbooks. Some of them we really enjoyed, others not so much. That's no offense to her, they just weren't for us. But after a good amount of time I started to notice something. Just like we home cooks find ourselves getting into ruts, I thought Rachael was getting into a few herself. She had so many recipes for burgers, or "stoups" (as she calls them) I felt like I was seeing/reading the same recipes over and over. So I had to take a little break from my friend. I needed to branch out and try other sources for recipes; and now I get so many ideas from so many places, there is never just one I'm stuck on any more. Then a few weeks ago, I was once again watching her morning talk show (again, I was home alone and needed some adult voices), saw her make this, and was in love without even taking a bite! Just the mere sight of it had me drooling a little, and I knew that was my sign it was time to give RR another try! Now, as you are reading the recipe, if it seems a little daunting or time consuming, let me give you a couple hints. One, cook the chicken ahead of time. Either the day of or even the night before. Just bring it back up to room temperature before adding it. Two, clean your leeks (directions below) ahead of time too. I did mine the morning of, covered them and sat them in the fridge. Again, letting them come back to room temperature before using. Both of these steps turned dinner time into a little bit of cooking, and a lot of assembly. Splitting the steps really made it seem like less work for me. But if you have to do it all at once, don't worry, it's still pretty simple! I'm sure RR is still making burgers and "stoups" just as much as she ever was, but with recipes like this appearing too, I'm happy to say her and I can be friends again :)

Creamed Chicken w/ Leeks Over Buttered Toast Adapted from Rachael Ray
3 boneless chicken breasts
1 rib celery, chopped into large chunks
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into large chunks
1 small onion, peeled, halved w/ root end still attached
1 lemon, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 medium leeks, cleaned and chopped
2 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS flour
1 c. poaching liquid (see below)
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 TBS Dijon mustard
 1 TBS dried parsley
4 slices white bread, toasted and buttered

In a large pot, place chicken, celery, carrots, onions and lemons. Season w/ salt and pepper. Add water, just enough to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a light boil. Poach until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove chicken and shred. Strain cooking liquid and reserve. Trim green tops off leeks. Split each white bulb down the center, lengthwise. Chop into 1/2-inch "half moons". Fill a large bowl or your kitchen sink w/ cold water. Add chopped leeks and wash well, making sure to separate all layers. Remove from water and drain/dry well on a kitchen towel. In the same pot you cooked the chicken, bring olive oil and butter to medium heat. Add leeks, season w/ salt and pepper and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add flour and cook 1 minute. Pour in poaching liquid and cream. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and Dijon. Stir to combine and heat through. Just before serving, add dried parsley. Spoon chicken mixture over buttered toast.

Shared on Make Ahead Meals Apr. 23, 2012
Shared on Naptime Creations Apr. 24, 2012 
Shared on Mandy's Recipe Box Apr. 24, 2012 
Shared on Lady Behind the Curtain Apr. 25, 2012 
Shared on Newlyweds Blog Apr. 25, 2012 
Shared on Miz Helen's Country Cottage Apr. 26, 2012 
Shared on The Country Cook Apr. 27, 2012
Chicken at Very Good Recipes
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Unknown said...

I really like RR for her 30 minute meals too! I like all the colorful bowls and cookware she has even more.:)

The Better Baker said...

No doubt about it - I would go wild over this simple dish. MMMM! Thanks so much for linking up at Weekend Potluck - please come again.

Miz Helen said...

Your recipe looks awesome. Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen