Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Entree: Breast of Chicken with Tomato Cream Sauce aka Leeky Chicken

This recipe came to us through a cooking class, one specifically about knife skills. We really liked it and it gets made in our house on a fairly regular basis. It also introduced us to the deliciousness that is pancetta.

1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter or as needed
¼ pound pancetta
2 whole chicken breasts, divided
2 medium leeks, split down the length, washed and sliced
¾ pound ripe Italian pear tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 teaspooons fresh thyme leaves
a generous pinch of red pepper flakes or to taste
salt as needed
fresh ground pepper
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
thyme sprigs for garnish


  1. Cut the pancetta into ¼ inch pieces. Heat the butter in a 12” skillet and saute the pancetta until lightly browned and slightly crisp.
  2. While the pancetta is cooking, debone the chicken breasts. Removed the cooked bacon from the skillet. Saute the chicken beginning skin side down until cooked through and golden brown on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the cooked chicken to a platter and keep warm in a low oven.
  3. Drain away all the fat except for a 2 tablespoons. Add the leeks and saute until tender and wilted. Add half of the tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chicken stock, cream and tomato paste. Boil briefly to reduce and thicken the sauce. Add the chopped thyme, red pepper, the rest of the tomatoes, and the pancetta. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer the sauce to the bottom of a clean platter. Place the chicken breasts on top and garnish with chopped parsley and the thyme sprigs, and serve.
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