Readers Digest
Magazine subscription Podcast
HomeFood & DrinkRecipes

Chicken and leek stew recipe

BY Rachel Walker

22nd Nov 2019 Recipes

Chicken and leek stew recipe

Nights are short, there’s a chill in the air and little brings more comfort than stew...

Traditional British stews are often dark and robust—beef or lamb with red wine—but this is a lighter, more broth-like version which has a chicken base.

Ingredients (serves 4)

• 1kg chicken thighs and drumsticks
• 1tbsp olive oil
• 6-8 peppercorns
• 1tsp salt (or 1tsp bouillon powder)
• 50g butter
• 500g leeks
• 2-3 sprigs of thyme
• 200g pearl barley
• 1 sprig rosemary
• (Optional quick cook greens: 80g spinach / diced courgette / 150g frozen peas)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken thighs and drumsticks, sprinkle over salt and roast for 35-40 minutes, until the juices run clear when you cut into the thickest part of the flesh.

2. Once cooked, peel away the skin from four of the chicken thighs and set aside. Use two forks to shred the meat from the bone. Refrigerate the meat, and place the bones in a pan.

3. Top and tail the leeks, wash away any grit, and put them in a pan with the chicken bones and the peppercorns (plus any other stock ingredients you have in the fridge, such as half an onion or a carrot). Pour over 1.2 to 1.5 litres of water and simmer rapidly for 1.5 hours (3 hours is ideal, but you’ll still have a delicious chicken stock after 1.5). Season, strain and set aside.

4. Meanwhile, thinly slice the leeks and wash thoroughly in a sink filled with cold water. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the leeks and thyme and cook at a low temperature for 15 minutes, until soft and sweet.

5. Stretch out the reserved chicken skin on a tray and grill for 2 minutes to crisp them up. Divide the chicken pearl barley stew between four heated bowls and top with a shard of salty chicken skin.

Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter


Loading up next...
Stories by email|Subscription
Readers Digest

Launched in 1922, Reader's Digest has built 100 years of trust with a loyal audience and has become the largest circulating magazine in the world

Readers Digest
Reader’s Digest is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards, please contact 0203 289 0940. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit