Annabel Langbein’s Chicken and Leek Gratin

February  4, 2016
Photo by Alpha Smoot
Author Notes

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut cooking the same old things, but one of the easiest ways to get out of that rut is to revitalize old favorites. Here I’ve given a classic leek and chicken bake a fabulous update by marinating the chicken in cayenne, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. It’s such a useful dish to make in advance and keep in the
fridge until you’re ready to pop it in the oven. Adapted slightly from Annabel Langbein The Free Range Cook: Simple Pleasures.
Candy Hutzell

  • Serves 6
  • For the leek mixture:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 leeks, thinly sliced
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup cream or chicken broth
  • For the crust:
  • 1/2 loaf day-old rustic bread
  • 4 cloves, garlic
  • 2 handfuls parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 3 anchovies
  • 2 ounces butter, softened but not melted
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan
In This Recipe
  1. For the leek mixture:
  2. To make the gratin, heat butter in a heavy pan, add leeks, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring now and then, until softened and no longer bright green, about 15 minutes.
  3. While the leeks are cooking, place chicken in a bowl with mustard, worcestershire sauce, cayenne, thyme, and salt and stir to combine. Allow to sit for 10 minutes while the leeks cook.
  4. Remove cooked leeks from heat and mix in cream or chicken broth. Spread evenly in the base of a large, shallow baking dish, then make the crust (recipe below).
  5. Arrange chicken thighs on top of the leek mixture, then cover with the crust. The gratin can be prepared in advance to this stage and chilled for several hours until needed.
  6. Make Crust (Recipe Below)
  7. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350° F. Bake until chicken is fully cooked through and crumbs are golden (about 1 hour).
  1. For the crust:
  2. To make the crust, break bread into rough chunks, removing crusts if they are very hard, and pulse in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Measure out 2 heaped cups and freeze any remaining crumbs for future use. Place garlic, parsley, rosemary, anchovies, butter, and lemon zest in a food processor and whizz to chop finely. Add breadcrumbs and parmesan and pulse to just combine. This crust will keep in a container in the fridge for up to a week or can be frozen.

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