Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Culinary Throw Down: Leeks

The winner of the previous throw down, Allison chose leeks for her throw down. Stop by her site and see who else is playing. So here we go, a meal in which we incorporate leeks, no not leaks. Leeks

The leek, Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.), also sometimes known as Allium porrum, is a vegetable which belongs, along with the onion and garlic, to the Alliaceae family. Two related vegetables, the elephant garlic and kurrat, are also variant subspecies of Allium ampeloprasum, although different in their uses as food.

Rosemary-Lemon Roast Chicken
1 (3 pound) broiler-fryer chicken
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 medium lemon
Kosher salt to taste
Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Combine garlic and rosemary. Rub chicken inside and out with garlic mixture. Halve and juice lemon. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons lemon juice over prepared chicken. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Place the squeezed lemon halves in body cavity.
Skewer neck skin to back. Tie legs to tail; use 100% cotton string (zip ties melt); twist wing tips under back. Place chicken, breast side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degrees F oven for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 185 degrees F and drumsticks move easily in their sockets, brushing occasionally with drippings.

Leek bread stuffing with herbs

6 ounces white bread cut into quarter inch cubes (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek halved lengthwise, rinsed, white and light green parts cut crosswise into 1/8 inch slices
1 small celery chopped fine
1 large garlic clove minced
½ tsp. minced frees fresh sage
½ tsp. minced fresh thyme
¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 large egg
½ cup chicken stock
½ tsp. of salt
½ tsp. of ground black pepper

Bake bread at 250°on a cookie sheet to dry, not to brown. About ½ hour. Heat butter in the 12 inch skillet over medium high heat and when foam subsides add leek and celery, cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic, continue to cook stirring frequently until vegetables begin to brown. Stir in the sage, thyme and parsley and cook until fragrant. Whisk egg, chicken stock, salt and pepper in a bowl until combined. Add to pan. Add the bread cubes to the leek mixture toss gently until evenly moistened and combined. Sprinkle 3 to 5 tablespoons of drippings from the chicken over the stuffing. Put the skillet in the oven and bake with the chicken until browned. (Remember when removing the skillet from the oven the handle is very HOT, I learned this the hard way)

Sautéed spinach with leeks

1½ tablespoon olive oil (estimate)
16 ounces of baby spinach
1 leek halved lengthwise, rinsed, white and light green parts cut crosswise into 1/8 inch slices
1 large garlic clove minced

Add the olive oil to a 12 inch sauté skillet and heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the leak and cook until lightly browned and then add the spinach you have to add it in bunches as it takes up quite a bit of room in the pan. Cook until done to taste. This happens pretty fast and you need to coordinate having the rest of the meal ready to serve so that the spinach doesn’t sit to long.

Chicken roasted with garlic and served with a herby stuffing is flattered by richer Chardonnays. Or try a Shiraz or Shiraz blend.
For real entertainment stop by Moi's tomorrow and read her judging of the event.


TROLL Y2K said...

THAT is a real meal with a lot of flavor and healthy ingredients. Excellent!


ohhh that looks good...

Karl said...

Troll: Thank you

Jacque Sue: It was, it actually turned out better than I thought it would.

Buzz Kill said...

This is a great meal for me to comment on because I have made this chicken recipe and the spinach recipe (without the leeks) and can relate to the taste.

First, the leek stuffing is a great idea (wish I'd thought of it). It's very similar to the Thanksgiving stuffing that I make. I like the idea of leeks for onions.

Second, the chicken with the lemon/garlic/rosemary stuffed in the chicken comes out great. I didn't think it would when I first made it but you really get the flavor. I'm thinking about brining my next roast chicken with rosemary and garlic in the brine and the lemons in the bird cavity.

Third, the spinach is very similar to a Mario Batali recipe I made a while back. The spinach and garlic combination was awesome, so the addition of the leeks makes it that much awesomer.

And like Troll you did the complete meal. This is very doable for a Sunday dinner. Nice job.

LaDivaCucina said...

Very good Karl! I want to jump in and eat it now! (and of course drink the accompanying glass of Chardy too!)

I find it so interesting to see what everyone thinks up to use their ingredients. Stuffing never entered my mind!

I've been copying a lot of the blogging recipes and putting them into a file, this one is going in too!

I'm up!

Allison said...

Wow! That is a complete meal. Everything sounded great. Nice work!

Boxer said...

This is the real deal, a complete dinner. I love the combination of rosemary and lemon. It's an amazing smell and taste.

I'm glad you're in for the Challenge and you're right about why we really participate..... Judge Moi.

Karl said...

Buzz Kill: Thank you, if you like the spinach recipe try the spinach and leak it's very interesting how it changes the flavor.

Changing leeks for onions would definitely mellow the flavors, give it a shot see how you like it.

The chicken is one of our favorites at home, usually makes one dinner two lunches and bones for the stockpot.

LaDiva: Thanks, wouldn't it be neat if we could all hop through the computer screen, sit down and have a glass of wine with each other.

I can see it now: "The Throw Down Cookbook". Of course someone is going to have to pick a food that starts with A so the first chapter won't be beets.

Allison: Thank you, the flavors complement themselves well.

Boxer: Yes, the two flavors go very well together and they can bring out the best in lots of different foods.

Moi's commentary makes it all worth the effort.

Sandcastle Momma said...

That looks SO good. I never thought of using the leeks with spinach - that sounds great and is something I'll probably try this week since I'm on a spinach kick.
I can't wait to try all of this - it looks like a dinner my whole family will enjoy.

Karl said...

Sandcastle Momma: I hope you enjoy it. I think you'll find the way the leek mellows the flavor of the spinach, very interesting.

It is a family friendly meal. Best of luck with the recipe.

moi said...

My first thought was Sunday Dinner, too! Kudos, Karl, for the effort and the thought you put into making a complete dinner that is flavorful and nutritious. I can taste the spinach and leeks in my head and am thinking: Brilliant!

Aunty Belle said...

ah...cleavh use--leek bread stuffin'. Nifty Karl. Chicken sound fresh and authentic too. Hooray!

Kymical Reactions said...

can I come over for dinner? Because I just don't think if I will make this it will turn out quite this nice.


Joanna Cake said...

Wow, that chicken sounds lovely. Spinach and leeks go really well together as the accompaniment too!

Karl said...

Moi: Thank you, the meal is best prepared on the weekend. It can take a bit of time to get it all together. Spinach is one of my favorite veggies, the leaks really given a nice twist.

Aunty Belle: Ah shucks, you're too kind.

Kym, I would love to have you. You could do it, it's not that hard.

Joanna: It all really does blend well.

moi said...

Come on by; I have declared a Leek Winner!

TROLL Y2K said...

Congrats on the well-deserved win!

I actually predicted you'd win.

Boxer said...

Hail Karl for his Win!!!!!

Congrats. You did a great job.

Now.... you get to host the next challenge. What will it be?

Buzz Kill said...

Karl. Damn your eyes. I told you, today is the day we change the holes. Now, do it, and no more slacking off. - Groundskeeper Sandy

Congratulations Karl. You had the complete package here. Now you have nowhere to go but - down.

Karl said...

Troll: Thank you sir.

Boxer: Thanks, what next well I'm not sure yet.

Buzz Kill: I'm not sure I understand your comment about the holes.

Thank you for the congratulations, we'll see. HeaHeaHea

Buzz Kill said...

It was a movie quote from Caddyshack. If you've never seen the movie, one of the main characters is named Carl.

Sometimes I'm way too far out there.

Karl said...

Buzz Kill: I understand now. I have seen it, it's just been a while.

chickory said...

congratulations karl!

(aka K9)

Boxer said...

bwahahahahaha to Buzz. I just watched Caddyshack on cable the other night.

Karl said...

Chickory: Thank you! Oh...I know ya, I've seen your mug shot;)

Boxer: Caddy Shack was a hilarious movie. But I don't own it and I don't watch much television. So my chances of seeing it are kind of slim.

LaDivaCucina said...

Congrats to you Karl for a most excellent dish! That's TWO WINS for you! woo hoo!

I liked how the last ingredient had a lot of ways to be used or interpreted. Can't wait to see what you decide to do!

Now, where's that bottle of chardonnay? It's 5 o'clock!

Karl said...

LaDiva: pop, the sound of the cork comming out of the bottle. Now sit back, have a glass and ponder: Beef'n'bean

Kymical Reactions said...

Good Middle of the Night, Karl. :)

I just wanted to say congratulations to you for your superb win with this leek challenge! Here's a virtual High Five for you!

I also wanted to say thank you for choosing beef and beans as the next throwdown challenge! I've been dying for this kind of challenge, and it was going to be my choice if I ever
won! I'm a southern girl, and I really love my meat. and beans.

Karl said...

Kym: Thanks, I'm looking forward to the taste treat you come up with.