Yesterday morning, I looked into my fridge, realized the contents were reaching critical mass, and decided I wanted to clean it all out without wasting anything. And the food gods must have been smiling down at me, because I just happened to have almost all the ingredients I needed to make the potato and leek recipe I'd been eyeing in All About Braising, a cookbook I got as a birthday present from one of my best friends. At the same time, I still had a ton of leftover chicken from our little Sunday night feast, and I was sort of sick of chicken sandwiches. So I did a little Googling and came up with this recipe for chicken croquettes. I LOVED the potatos and leeks, so subtly flavorful and tender. Mark's favorite part of the meal was the chicken croquettes - the chicken was already delicious to begin with, and I punched up the original recipe with some red pepper flakes. And everything tastes better fried. While a litttle work intensive and time consuming, this was a great and tasty way to clean out the fridge.
- 3 medium leeks (about 1 1/2 lbs with the dark green tops cut off)
- 1 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock or mock chicken broth for a vegetarian dish)
- 2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
First I preheated the oven to 325 degrees, and put the chicken stock on the stove to simmer. I trimmed the root ends and dark green parts of the leeks, then quartered them lengthwise and sliced them into 3/4 inch pieces. I rinsed the leeks in cold water twice to get rid of the grit, then drained them.
I also peeled the potatos and cut them into 3/4 inch chunks. I buttered a casserole, put the leeks and potatoes in, sprinkled them with the thyme and nutmeg, and generously seasoned them with salt and pepper. Then I tossed it all together to make sure the seasoning and herbs were thoroughly distributed. I took the hot broth off the stove and poured it over the leeks and potatoes, then dotted the top with the pieces of butter.
I covered the casserole tightly with foil and put it in the oven. I took it out after 45 minutes, removed the foil and stirred the leeks and potatoes. Since there was barely any liquid in the pan, I covered it again with the foil and put it back into the oven for another 35 minutes, until the leeks and potatoes were completely tender (if there is a lot of liquid left, go ahead and leave the foil off). To finish the dish, I took it out, uncovered it, and increased the oven temp to 425. I stirred the leeks and potatoes again, and poured the cream over them. I put the dish back in the oven and baked another 30 minutes (until the top was browned and bubbly and cream was mostly absorbed).
- A day old mini baguette
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 6 tbsp butter
- 3 cups cooked, finely chopped chicken
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2-3 eggs, lightly beaten