Chicken Breasts with Leeks and Parmesan Cheese Recipe

chicken with leeks in frying pan
Alena Hrbkova/StockFood Creative/Getty Images
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

This chicken breast recipe is an easy dish to throw together, but it seems more elegant and complicated than it actually is. I love how the sweetness of the leeks complements the chicken, and a handful of Parmesan cheese adds a nice richness. Vermouth is a fortified white wine that I often use in place of white wine in recipes because it will last for months. Be sure to use dry vermouth instead of sweet vermouth. If you don't have alcohol on hand,  you can use the same amount of cider vinegar.

Cooking Equipment Needed: Measuring spoons, liquid measuring cup, saute pan, cheese grater (One to try: Microplane Twist 'n Grate), tongs, meat thermometer

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (or grapeseed oil)
  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless; about 6 ounces each)
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 leeks (cleaned, halved lengthwise, and cut into half-moon shaped slices)
  • 1/4 cup vermouth ​(or white wine)
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese (grated)

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and tilt the pan to coat completely with oil.
  2. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Place them in the saute pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the chicken releases easily from the pan and the underside is browned. Turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 5 to 6 minutes to brown the other side. Transfer the chicken to an ovenproof platter or pan and put it in the oven to finish cooking.
  1. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter to the pan. When the butter melts, add the leeks and saute, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are softened, about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat to add the vermouth, then return it to medium-low heat and cook until the vermouth is reduced by about half. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Remove the chicken breasts from oven and check their internal temperature with a meat thermometer, which should be 165˚F.  and let stand a few minutes before slicing chicken on the bias. Transfer chicken breasts to a dinner plate and top each with a generous spoonful of the cooked leeks.