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Sweet potatoes and leeks star in this rich and comforting stew-like dish. A slow (but not all day) braise, makes for a full flavored, lick-the-plate kind of meal.
Stop the bus. Hold the phone. Stop everything you are doing and make this, tonight.
I have been making versions of this dinner since the first time I saw the recipe on a site my friend Brianna writes. It’s kind of ridiculous how much I love this. It’s ridiculously simple – but everything really works together.
You know when you sit down for dinner, serve it up and begin eating and hear “ohhhh, this is good” and “mmmmmm”? Yeah. Get ready. Everyone LOVES this.
And… it’s actually not horrible for you. BONUS!
So, what’s in it?
It’s simple enough. Chicken thighs seasoned up with oregano, salt and pepper. A quick sear to get it all brown and delicious. Some sauteed leeks and garlic…. a little wine (some for the pot, some for you). Sweet potatoes, more oregano, some spices and a bay leaf. A bit of chicken stock.
Then, you walk away and let the magic happen
That’s right! Most of the deliciousness will happen when you braise it slowly. Braising just means to fry something lightly and then stew it slowly over low heat, with a lid on the pot.
A note about leeks
Leeks are grown in a sandy-soil – so very often when you get them from the store, they still have quite a bit of gritty sand in them. Just cut off the roots, and the very end of the dark green leaf, and discard.
Slice the leeks finely, and then add to a colander. Rinse, under running water. Then rinse again. Strain, and they’re ready to use.
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Hot tip of the day!
Mise en place .What is this? Well, it is a French culinary phrase which means “putting in place” or “everything in its place.”
For me, it’s “get everything out, chopped and measured before beginning to cook”
Listen, I know it’s kind of a pain and it goes against most people’s fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants cooking style (including my own), but it really makes a difference when you are cooking and need the next ingredient to add immediately – but you then have to stop and wash/chop/measure etc.
Back to the good stuff! Let’s eat?
Indeed! I serve this with brown rice, typically. In the case of when I took these pics, I used a brown rice/quinoa blend that works really well in this dinner.
Hey, you want more Sunday Dinners? Of course you do!
Braised Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes and Leeks
- 4 Tbs olive oil
- 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup fresh oregano minced and divided
- 2 leeks trimmed and sliced thinly - see notes
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 Tbs all purpose flour
- Trim the chicken thighs of visible fat. Season on both sides with salt, pepper, and 2 Tbs of the minced oregano.
- Heat 2 Tbs of olive oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven.
- Sear the chicken on both sides until the chicken browns. Do this in batches if your pot isn’t big enough to hold all of them without crowding. Add any juices from the chicken back into the pot when you add the stock in Step 7.
- Remove chicken from pot, turn the heat down to medium and heat the remaining olive oil
- Add the leek and garlic and sauté until the leek softens and is lightly browned.
- Add the wine, and stir -scraping up the browned bits from the chicken.
- Add the stock, sweet potatoes, bay leaf, and spices and stir to combine.
- Add the chicken back to the pot and nestle them just below the liquid surface.
- Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the chicken is done and the sweet potatoes are tender (but not mushy), about 30 mins.
- Smash a few of the sweet potatoes against the side of the pot and blend into the stew.
- Remove about ½ cup of the liquid and blend it with the flour – adding back in to thicken the liquid.
Slice the leeks finely, and then add to a colander. Rinse, under running water. Then rinse again. Strain, and they're ready to use.