Chicken Breasts with Walnuts, Leeks and Candied Lemon

The Good News: Angela Hartnett flavors lean chicken breasts with leeks and preserved lemons, which deliver vitamin C and minerals like magnesium and iron.
Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips



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1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and tender green parts only (sliced 1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 preserved lemon, pulp discarded and peel thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced chives
2 teaspoons minced dill
1 teaspoon minced tarragon
Freshly ground pepper
4 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, for garnish


In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt; cook over moderate heat until softened. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover and cook over low heat for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1 tablespoon of water and simmer over moderate heat until syrupy, 2 minutes. Add the preserved lemon and simmer for 1 minute; add to the leeks and keep warm.

In a bowl, whisk the vinegar, chives, dill and tarragon with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until golden, 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 2 minutes longer. Turn the breasts and cook until just white throughout, 4 minutes.

Spoon the leeks onto plates. Top with the chicken. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, garnish with the walnuts and serve.


Angela Hartnett,

March 2009
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