No lady likes to hear the words breast and leek in the same sentence... It's just a fact. I honestly have not tried this recipe yet but EVERY week I hear from someone who has tried a Chef Kurt joint, is blown away. My buddy Kevin is a big fan. I am talking about MSU Executive Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski who generously spends time to share his talent with us.

He has made me much more competent and confident in the kitchen. Last week, we made his onion rings again. After, I did all my dishes I dirtied. My family was shocked and surprise. My dad asked "What restaurant did you get them from?"

This is gourmet stuff! It was a great experience for me with my nephew and his girlfriend. We had a great time making the rings for everyone. Watching them enjoy them was even more fun.

So, this week he rolls out this gem. Kosher salt makes a huge difference, DON'T SKIMP!

MSU Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski’s Braised Chicken Breast with Leeks and Olives

 

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons olive oil

 

1 Tablespoon olive oil

4 coarsely chopped leeks, about 1” thick (use the white part only, rinsed well)

2 Tablespoons minced garlic

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1 bay leaf

¾ cup green olives cut in half

½ cup red wine

1½ cup chicken stock/broth

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Zest from ½ a lemon

 

The night before making the dish, season the chicken with 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt and ½ tsp black pepper.

Using a Dutch oven, or a large sauce pan that can go into an oven,  add the rest of the olive oil to the pan, bring to medium high heat, then sear the chicken for 7-10 minutes on the skin side; Remove chicken from pan, placing on a plate or sheet tray

Reduce pan heat to medium, add the leeks and sauté for 2 minutes, add garlic and sauté an additional minute, then deglaze the pan with wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Put the chicken back in the pan, along with the chicken stock/broth.

 

After the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the olives and bay leaf.

Remove from burner, cover pot and place into a 350 degree preheated oven for ½ hour.

Remove pan from oven and turn chicken over and place back into the oven for an additional 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove pan from oven add the lemon zest and fresh herbs.

At this time you can choose to reduce the liquid to a thicker consistency, or bring it to a simmer and then remove from heat and add about 2 tablespoons of butter to make a pan sauce, or you could thicken the sauce by making a slurry. A slurry is made by taking cold water or chicken stock and adding either corn starch to it and blending the two together, then adding it to the simmer sauce. For this recipe I would recommend only about ¼ c. of cold liquid to about 2 tablespoons of corn starch.
For plating, one portion is a piece of chicken with a 4-5 oz. ladle of reserved sauce.