This is the absolute best perfect cold-weather, easy braised chicken recipe. White balsamic vinegar is the secret ingredient in this braised chicken with creamy leeks. It cuts into the richness of the crème fraîche for a dinner that is simple enough for a night in and elegant enough to serve at a party.
If you’re looking for an amazing meal prep chicken recipe or a meal that is perfect for a crowd, you must make this braised chicken with creamy leeks.
This braised chicken recipe is one you absolutely want to keep for meal prep or for a cold night. It doesn’t require a ton of prep work, but the finished dish is so flavorful and beautiful.
You could make this braised chicken recipe with all chicken thighs, leg quarters, or with a mix of cut chicken legs and thighs. And you could definitely get creative with the vegetables in the broth! Try adding some diced potatoes, carrots, celery, or add your favorite soup vegetable! You could add spinach in at the very end if you want even more greens.
I keep it simple with mushrooms, leeks, and peas but you can easily adapt this recipe to your preferences.
How to make this braised chicken recipe with creamy leeks:
This recipe is just a few easy steps.
First, start by browning the chicken. You want to cook the leg quarters in batches until browned all over. Transfer them to a plate, but don’t get rid of that fond on the bottom of the skillet!
Next, sauté the vegetables. Start with the onions and mushrooms. Then add the leeks and sauté for about 10 minutes. From there, add in the white balsamic vinegar and bring everything to a boil for a few minutes.
From there, simply transfer the vegetables to a braising or roasting pan. Arrange the chicken on top and transfer it to the oven.
Once the chicken is cooked through, transfer the chicken to a platter. Then, transfer the whole roasting pan to burner and bring it back to a boil. Stir in the thyme, peas, and crème fraîche and cook until the peas are bright green. That’s it!
Want more chicken recipes? Check my archives!
Braised Chicken with Creamy Leeks
- Large skillet
- Braising pot
- 6 chicken leg quarters
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 leeks halved lengthwise, thoroughly rinsed and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 Vidalia onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 12 ounces baby bella mushrooms scrubbed and left whole if small, quartered if large
- ⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves picked from stems and stems discarded
- ½ cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Cayenne powder to taste
- Salt and pepper
Cook the chicken:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high in a large skillet until very hot. Cook the chicken, skin side down, without moving for 5-6 minutes until well browned. Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and leave the skillet on medium-high heat. Note: You may need to cook the chicken in batches for even browning.
Prepare the mushrooms and leeks:
- Add the onions and mushrooms to the hot skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring regularly, until softened. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the white balsamic vinegar and the chicken stock to the skillet of vegetables and bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Roast the chicken:
- Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large roasting pan. Arrange the chicken legs, skin-side up, on top of the vegetables. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30–45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reaches 165ºF in the thickest part of the chicken leg.
Finish the sauce:
- Transfer the chicken legs to a serving plate, return the roasting pan with the sauce to a burner on the stove, and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced a bit. Stir in the thyme and crème fraîche and cook until thickened, an additional 3-4 minutes. Stir in the peas and cook until bright green and cooked through, about 5 more minutes. Taste and season accordingly, and add a dash of cayenne powder if desired. Remove from heat.
- Add a few ladles of the sauce to bowls and serve with a chicken leg on top. Enjoy!