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Caramelised Leeks with Chicken Breasts

Make sure that you use leeks of the same size for this recipe so that they cook at the same rate. This dish makes an impressive lunch or supper dish and if you can get hold of them, baby leeks make it just that little bit more special - just reduce the cooking time by half. For a delicious alternative, try serving grilled salmon or cod fillets in place of the chicken.


4 medium leeks
2 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 skinless chicken breasts
Pinch dried rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice


1. Cut off the root of the leeks and any tough green leaves, cut into 5cm lengths and wash well.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and the butter in a frying pan and when foaming add the leeks and toss well. Season and cook gently for 10 minutes. Sprinkle over the sugar and use to coat the leeks as it dissolves. Pour over enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.

3. Continue to gently cook uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes until the leeks are soft. You may need to add a little more water if the liquid evaporates.

4. Meanwhile, beat the chicken breasts between two layers of cling film until double in size. Brush with the remaining olive oil, sprinkle with the dried rosemary and season.

5. Cook the chicken breasts under a pre-heated grill for 3-4 minutes on each side until thoroughly cooked.

6. Add the lemon juice to the leeks and a little more water if necessary to produce enough cooking juices to pour over the chicken. Boil up until slightly thickened.