Chicken with spring vegetables
Serves 4 Steam small Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes for 10 minutes to serve with the chicken and vegetables. You can find mesh bags of golf-ball sized potatoes.
3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 bunch asparagus, ends snapped off, stalks cut into 2-inch lengths
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 leeks, trimmed at both ends, thinly sliced, and rinsed well
2 packages (8 or 9 ounces each) fresh or frozen shelled edamame
1 Package (10 ounces) fresh or frozen green peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 skinless boneless chicken breasts (2 1/2 pounds total)
1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature, mashed with 1 tablespoon flour
Handful micro greens (optional)
1. Fit a large saucepan with a steamer insert. Add several inches of water and bring it to a boil. Add the carrots to the pan, cover, and steam for 3 minutes. Add the asparagus to the pan, cover, and steam for 1 minute more. With a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus and carrots to a bowl. Add plenty of cold water until they are cool.
2. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the leeks and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the edamame and green peas with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the edamame and peas are tender but still bright green. Remove them from the pan and spread them out on a plate to cool. Set aside 1 cup of the edamame mixture for the salad.
3. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. When it is hot, add 3 of the breasts. Let them sit without moving for 4 minutes. Turn and brown the other sides. Remove them from the pan. Brown the remaining breasts in the same way and remove them from the pan.
5. Pour in the chicken stock and cook, stirring, to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Let the stock bubble steadily for 5 minutes to reduce slightly. Return the chicken to the pan with 2 tablespoons of the thyme. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Remove 2 chicken breasts and set aside for the salad. Set the remaining 4 breasts on each of 4 plates. Cover loosely and keep warm.
6. Add the carrots, asparagus, and leek mixture to the pan. Cook, turning the vegetables in the sauce, for 2 minutes or until they are hot. With a slotted spoon, divide the vegetables among the plates. Cover and keep warm.
7. Whisk the butter and flour mixture into the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme and microgreens, if using.