Chicken Thighs with Pear & Leek Sauce
Here, we combine currant jelly—a tasty “secret” ingredient in rich sauces for game birds or poultry—with a medley of fall flavors, such as pears, walnuts and leeks, to make a quick pan sauce. Serve with quinoa and broccolini.
From EatingWell: September/October 2008
Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed (see Tip)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 large firm ripe pear, peeled and diced
- 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons currant jelly
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)
- Place sliced leek in a colander; rinse and drain well.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add the leek and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown and soften, about 2 minutes. Add pear and 1/4 cup broth; simmer until the pear is soft and the broth is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup broth and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add currant jelly to the pan and cook, stirring, until melted. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring, and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan and turn to coat with sauce. Serve sprinkled with walnuts.
Tips & Notes
- Tip: You'll need about 1 1/2 pounds untrimmed boneless, skinless chicken thighs to serve four people. For recipes that call for one large thigh per person, buy them at the butcher counter; prepackaged thighs vary dramatically in size. Ask for four 6-ounce boneless, skinless thighs. To trim them well, we like to use kitchen shears to snip the fat away from the meat. After trimming, you'll have four 4-ounce portions.
- Tip: Toast walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
Nutrition Per Serving: 333 calories; 18 g fat (3 g sat, 7 g mono); 76 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 3 g fiber; 530 mg sodium; 288 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (21% daily value).
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 fruit, 3 lean meat, 2 fat