Chicken and Leek Stroganoff

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I’ve previously reviewed Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food book that I bought for my husband.  There are several recipes in there that have become firm family favourites and that my husband often cooks for us; this recipe being one of them as it’s quick, tasty and very easy to prepare. Leeks give a wonderful flavour to a meal – coming from the Allium family which includes the onion and garlic, their flavour is much more subtle and delicate.

This recipe is based on Jamie’s from his book.

2 Large leeks
4 Chicken breasts
2tbs Olive oil
20g Butter
250ml White wine (if it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with)
100ml Water
15ml Wholegrain mustard
300g Basmati Rice
Bunch fresh, flat leaved parsley
300ml Single cream
1/2 Lemon
Salt & pepper

1. Put a large pan of lightly salted water on to boil.
2. Wash your leeks then cut them lengthways into quarters, from top to bottom, then slice across the stems (whites and greens) into 1cm thicknesses.

3. Cut the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, approx. 1cm x 2cm .
4. Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil and butter.  Heat until melted.
5. Add the leeks, wine, water, mustard, salt and pepper.
6. Stir together then bring to the boil and cover loosely with a lid or foil.
7. Put your rice in your boiling water, stir once and return to the boil.  Simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes (according to packet instructions).
8. Chop the parsley, leaves and stalks, finely.
9. Add the chicken, parsley and the cream to the frying pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

10. Drain the cooked rice.
11. Add the juice of your lemon half to the stroganoff and stir just before serving.
12. Place a pile of rice on your plate and add a generous couple of spoons of the stroganoff.

Serve with a perfectly chilled glass of the white wine that you used to cook this dish with.

Book Review – Jamie’s Ministry of Food

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If there’s one book that you should buy someone who needs a bit of encouragement to get themselves into the kitchen and to give them the confidence that they really can cook, then you should treat them (& ultimately yourself) to Jamie’s Ministry of Food.

It’s not a recent book and was originally published in 2008 but is still a bestseller today.

To give you the background why I bought this book.  I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 19.  We married 4 years later and, I’m proud to say, are still together today, 30 years and 2 children later! (Am I really that old?! Surely not!!!!)  Anyway, for almost the first 25 years of our relationship it was me in the kitchen probably 6 days out of 7.  My husband would cook the odd meal but always to a limited repertoire and was daunted to try anything new without my guidance.  I changed jobs and worked away from my home town which meant that for the first time, he was home before me each evening and the menu was starting to get ‘a little challenging’ for the family.  Let’s just say the kids were bored with spaghetti bolognese and frozen fish portions! It would be too late for me to get home and start preparing dinner from scratch as I’d always done, so something had to change.

Then, one day on a visit to a bookshop, browsing my favourite section (cookery), picking one of my favourite chef’s books up and realising it would be perfect for my husband, it just happened to fall into my shopping basket and my husband’s quest to become an accomplished cook began!  I personally love Jamie Oliver’s style of cooking – simple ingredients, easily accessible to source, often British and in season.  No faff and no fuss.

The book covers everything from essential Kitchen Equipment; not the gadgets and gizmos of the top chefs, but the tongs, bowls, pans and spatulas that every kitchen deserves to have.  There’s the basic larder, fridge and freezer ingredients that will see you to preparing anything from a boiled egg to the simplest cheese on toast through to a casserole, pie or a decadent dessert worthy of any good dinner party. It’s packed with hints and tips that will guide you from the initial preparation, via cooking and on to serving and enjoying your meal.

There are several favourites from this book that my husband loves to cook and he does so now with a flourish and such confidence that I never thought I’d enjoy seeing, namely:

* Chicken and Leek Stroganoff
* Classic Tomato Spaghetti (which is enjoyed with Jamie’s recommended addition of a tin of tuna flakes)
* Broccoli and Pesto Taglietelle
* Mini Shell Pasta with a Creamy (unsmoked) Bacon and Pea Sauce
* Parsnip and Ginger Soup
* A Cracking Burger (yep even home made burgers!)
* Baked Carrots in a Bag
* Salmon Fish Cakes

For a novice cook to be able to work from a book and create the flavours that you imagine when you see the photographs and read the ingredients and instructions can only mean that this book is incredibly well written, easy to follow and an essential to any book case; novice and experienced alike.

A job well done Mr Oliver, Sir!  Bring on the next book because I have all of your current ones!  The only downside is that I am now forced to share all of these as well as my ever increasing cook book collection with my husband!

What’s your favourite Jamie Oliver book?  Drop me a comment and let me know what’s your favourite recipe(s) from them.