Leeks are in season from November to March. I've paired them with chestnut and porcini mushrooms, butterbeans, spinach and herbs to make a tasty and nourishing one-pot meal. I hope you enjoy!
Chicken thighs, bone in
knob of butter
10g dried porcini mushrooms
300ml boiling water
2 cloves garlic
1 punnet chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and destalked
a few sprigs of thyme
1 tin or carton of drained and rinsed butterbeans
1 very large handfuls washed spinach
a handful of parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
I used a multi-cooker for this recipe, but you could use a large frying pan, saucepan, or casserole dish.
Season the chicken with salt. Heat the pan and add the butter. Once melted place the chicken thigh skin down and sear until a nice golden colour (approx 8-10 minutes).
Whilst the chicken is searing, boil the kettle and pour 300ml water over the porcini mushrooms. Leave to rehydrate.
Wash the leeks thoroughly, to remove any grit and dirt, then slice. Set aside.
Mince the garlic and add to the leeks.
Slice the mushrooms and set aside.
Zest the lemon, then slice in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl or cup. set aside.
Remove the partially cooked chicken from the hot pan and place on a plate.
Now add the leeks and garlic to the pan and stir occasionally. Do not brown. 10 min.
Add the chestnut mushrooms.
Add the porcini mushrooms and the liquid (apart from the gritty sediment at the bottom)
Add the butterbeans, thyme, lemon juice and zest, 1/2 the parsley, salt and pepper. Give it a good stir, then place the chicken on top, this time skin side up.
Partially cover the pan and cook until the chicken is done (internal temperature of the chicken, not the vegetables, should reach 75c). By this point most of the liquid has evaporated and you are left with a rich broth. If you have had the heat very high, or chicken uncovered, then you may need to add a little water occasionally, to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan.
Remove the chicken and place on a clean plate.
Switch the heat off, then stir in the spinach and remainder of the parsley until wilted. Check seasoning and adjust where necessary. Serve with the chicken.