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Old 07-30-2007, 08:21 PM   #1
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Need Chicken Leek Wine Advice

Hey all,

I can use some advice on a dish my brother taught me to make using halved chicken breasts, some butter-sauteed leeks and mushrooms and white wine, which he adds two or three times, cooking it down each time. It was delicious! But all the recipes I see seem to be basically braised leeks and chicken with a quick wine reduction, add cream and bingo, ready to serve.

But my bro's version calls for a long cooking period, cooking the wine down over and over until the chicken is absolutely saturated. Does anyone know of such a recipe and how come cooking it so long doesn't ruin the chicken?

Lastly, what's a good white? Chardonnay? Leibfraumilch?

Thanks!

Trouble

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Old 07-30-2007, 10:21 PM   #2
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Hi trouble, welcome aboard.

Your first question, well, it might help if you posted the recipe.

As for the wine, wine reduction increases the flavor of the wine in the final sauce, so make it tasty.

Again, welcome to the site.
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:18 PM   #3
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Lastly, what's a good white? Chardonnay? Leibfraumilch?
Some Chardonnays are good, some not so much. What do you plan to do with the wine?

Liebfraumilch is a very inexpensive, light, sweetish German wine that has been overmarketed in the US... In Germany its pretty much considered seasonal, similar to Maywine. German Rieslings, otoh, are among the world's greatest white wines, and are considered to be some of the most food-friendly white wines.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:52 AM   #4
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White wine choices and uses

Thanks auntdot and ChefJune for your responses. I don't have an actual recipe other than; sauteeing the leeks and mushrooms in butter, adding the chicken breasts to brown, then pouring in the wine and simmering until the liquid is gone, adding more wine, simmering down and then once more cooking down. The result is a fantastic wine-saturated chicken served with the soft buttery vegetables over rice.

As for the wine, I believe he did use the Liebfraumilch but I've chosen a Chardonnay. Since I'm not a wine drinker I was curious as to what effect different wines may have on the chicken, but I guess I'm going with the old saw that if you like the taste of the wine in the glass you'll like the same flavor when cooking with it.

I also couldn't find an actual recipe that has one cooking the chicken for so long (it does take about 90 minutes to cook the wine down 3 times) and I wondered the general opinion about cooking chicken for so long, although i do recall the dish being quite tender.

Anyway, glad to find a forum to ask questions. I have another one I'm going to post next.

Trouble
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:28 PM   #5
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The potential problem with "Chardonnay," is that there are so many different styles. Much inexpensive Chardonnay is imbued with a lot of oak, which reduces in a most unpleasant way. You kind of get the feeling that you're biting on a log,

The Liebfraumilch, while a pretty unexciting wine to drink, would be good to cook with as it has none of those properties that would interfere with the fairly delicate flavors of both chicken and leeks.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:04 PM   #6
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Cooking with Wine

Thanks, ChefJune! I think I'm gonna go ahead with the Chardonnay this time since I already bought the bottle... if it's not too good I'll try it again with Lieb.

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Old 07-31-2007, 02:17 PM   #7
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Sauteeing chicken breasts for 90 min could be a recipe for disaster, I'm afraid.

It really shouldn't take that long to reduce the wine, either, unless you are adding a LOT.

I also agree with Chef June about cooking with chards. American ones can be particularly oaky and unpleasant, both to drink and to cook with.

But go ahead and try it and tell us how it came out!
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:27 PM   #8
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I think what's going on with this dish is a combination of braising and and saute'. Sauteing your veggies and chicken in the butter allows them to brown and develop flavor, and by adding wine the first time you'll also deglaze your pan, picking up any flavor bits stuck on the bottom. Like you said, it takes about 90 minutes for the wine to reduce fully, which means you're either cooking on low heat or going through a few bottles of wine.
I'll assume the former to be the case. This makes your dish more of a braise than a saute', because your chicken is spending so much time cooking at a low heat in liquid; pretty much the definition of a braise. Braising is what will make the meat very very tender.


I don't have any recipes for you, but if you search this site or google for braised chicken dishes I'm sure you'll get tons of hits.

As for wine, I'd also reccommend steering away from chardonnay for this type of dish. Personally, I'd go for a semi-dry wine, maybe a Pinot Gris
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:33 PM   #9
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Well I looked up braised chicken and found a similar recipe. I did cook it last night and it was pretty good. I sauteed the leeks and mushrooms in butter, then browned the chicken, added wine and chicken broth, covered and simmered, adding more wine after about 25 minutes and cooking for another 15 or so. I used whole skin-on chicken breasts so they came out fine, if just a tad overcooked, but I removed them after 40 minutes and continued to reduce the liquid. It was served over rice and was quite good although the chicken wasn't as wine-saturated as when my brother made it. So the Chardonnay worked out fine after all. Thanks everyone in this thread for your help.
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