Although I first published this post for Baked Chicken with Leeks, Bacon and Mustard just two years ago I thought it was time for a redo. It’s as simple as this too. I should call this dish ‘The Ugly Duckling’ because that’s what it is and the photos I took last time really did not help. Not that I’ll ever get gorgeous photos from a baked dish with chicken, bacon, leeks and mustard but this poor baby has languished in the dungeon of never being seen and I get that but it is so wrong. It is seriously one of my favorite chicken dishes of all time; don’t be afraid of it’s rather homely appearance, the end result is still amazing!
My friend Jeanne at CookSister.com tweeted about a post that she had done at Great British Chefs for a chicken dish with leeks, mustard and bacon. I love them all and even had a new brand of mustard I had procured that I really wanted to try in a recipe. Additionally I SO identified with Jeanne’s story about the lowly forgotten leek who has had to struggle in the garden with the ever so popular kale. I prefer the underdog. Kale is one of the popular kids but I think it’s gone to their head; I’m happy rooting for the leek! I’ve not used it often enough I admit, but had recently made this Mediterranean Stroganoff and found myself falling in love all over again. Of course I LOVE both onions and garlic so it should be no big surprise but I was delighted that Jeanne mentioned that it can also be touted as good for your health with it’s mix of flavonoids, folate and antioxidants. Still, it’s the flavor I’m loving. LOVING!
I made This Dish originally right after I had made another highly touted chicken dish that I found abjectly boring. I knew with that first bite was what was missing from That Other Dish. That WOW factor; that ‘This is so good I’m going to sneak a few more bites than I should’ factor. It was bland and boring and never graced the pages of this blog and I’ll never get why anyone would love it to be honest. And then there was this.
While I normally love to mix it up when I make a dish I had little desire to make any revisions to this one. Still, I could not help myself from browning the chicken in the bacon drippings and then adding a bit of Sherry to the sauce. The other change was in simply revising Jeanne’s metric recipe for my non-metric readers…now everyone has a version to use. If you use Jeanne’s and want Sherry just add about 1/4 cup to the sauce mix in addition to the heavy cream; that’s all I did; so easy. I followed those same steps when we had this for dinner last night…OK and maybe for lunch again today and it still works perfectly. Would it be overkill to have again tonight? No? I thought the same!
So Brown. So Beautiful! I used a whole bunch of chicken thighs too; and this does make a lot. Whether you have a large gathering and need a big dish or just something for a regular family meal with great leftovers, it works. Even though it was baked and I would not have expected it; I had someone who could not help themselves dig in and use their fingers on a few small pieces and never do I believe the words ‘finger lickin’ good!’ were more appropriate.
One thing I tried this time around, hoping to improve in the looks department, was to save a bit of the sauteed leeks for garnish. The baked dish has everything brown, brown and more brown. Adding a colorful salad and garnishing with just a touch of something green on top did seem to make a difference. Still, it will never be Sleeping Beauty but forget the Prince anyhow. Grab a fork and dig in and you’ll soon see just how lovely this Baked Chicken with Leeks, Bacon and Mustard is for yourself. Now THIS recipe is worthy; maybe a bit more time consuming than that ‘other’ recipe but something I’m proud to share and I just know you will love. Goodbye Maple Mustard Chicken…you simply did not have enough ‘muster’ for us after all! :)