I don’t use leeks as often as I would like so this week when I picked some up, I decided to pop together a new recipe to try and get me cooking them more often. Leek paired with chicken and bacon is a classic combo often found in a chicken pie. The combination here with pasta is delicious. It is both lovely and silky and creamy whilst not being too naughty. The introduction of pesto really lifts the flavour too. If you fancy you could use the sauce below as a pie mixture. Simply let it cool and then pop into individual pie dishes, top with the pastry of your choice and then bake. I like it as a pasta though as its quick and oh so satisfying.
Serves 2 = 13sp/579 calories per person
2 x 165 chicken breasts, raw and chopped into bitesize chunks
2 x slices of bacon (fat removed, smoked or unsmoked, whichever takes your fancy)
1 large leek, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
½ box of mushrooms, sliced
½ tbsp plain flour
125ml white wine
200ml chicken stock (or if not using wine 300ml of chicken stock) made up using ½ chicken stock cube
2 tsp green basil pesto (or wholegrain mustard if you prefer)
2 tbsp half fat crème fraiche
1 courgette, cut into strips using a wide peeler
Pinch of crushed chillies (optional)
Salt and pepper
120g of pasta of your choice, dried
Spray a large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray, heat and then fry the chicken on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the bacon and fry on a high heat until the bacon has started to crisp up and the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the pan and pop to one side.
In the same pan, spray again with low calorie cooking spray and then fry off the leeks until they start to soften (add a little water if the pan gets dry). Then add the garlic and mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms start to soften. Stir in the flour and fry for another minute (this will help the sauce to thicken up).
Next add the wine, simmer until reduced by half and then add the stock.
At this point pop the pasta on.
Let the stock simmer and reduce a little so that it starts to thicken up. Add the pesto (and crushed chillies if you are having then) and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and bacon back to the pan with the courgette, stir and then finally add the crème fraiche, stir through and turn the heat down to low until the pasta has cooked.
Drain the pasta (adding a little of the pasta water to the sauce pan) and then tip in to the sauce. Give a good mix and then let it cook for another minute.
Finish with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan and a good twist of black pepper.