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Chicken and Leek Stroganoff

With the nicer, warmer weather beginning to settle in, my urge for meals that seem a bit lighter are beginning to fall into place.  When Spring hits, I always feel a need to clean and cleanse and get ready to come alive after a few months of hunkering down and slumbering.  I mean this for both my eating habits and for the house and the yard and habits that have gotten lax and slovenly while being cooped up inside for so long.  This meal is lighter than what you would normally think of when you hear the word "stroganoff", but still full of flavor...creamy and citrusy and a bit tangy, even.  Plus, the whole family enjoyed it...and that is always a bonus.
Chicken and Leek Stroganoff
serves 2 (I tripled this)

sea salt
¾ c. brown basmati rice
1 large leek, cleaned well then halved & sliced thin
a big handful of crimini or oyster mushrooms, sliced
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into fingers
olive oil
butter
glass of white wine
freshly ground black pepper
a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped (stems & all) I didn't triple this, just used one bunch
1¼ c. heavy cream*
1 lemon
Cook your rice. 

Put a large pan on high heat and add a good lug of olive oil and a pat of butter.  Add the leek to the pan with the wine, a small glass of water, and a good pinch of salt and pepper.  Let it bubble away for 5 minutes, loosely covered.  Add chicken, most of parsley, cream and the mushrooms.  Stir, bring back to a boil, then turn heat down to medium and simmer for ~10 minutes.  Drain your rice.  Just before serving, cut your lemon in half and squeeze on half into the stroganoff. Season to taste.

Spoon some rice onto each plate and top with stroganoff.  Scatter with the rest of the parsley and serve with other half of lemon, cut into wedges.



*You may be tempted to use half & half in place of heavy cream.  Don't do it!  At least not if you want your sauce to be smooth and creamy and cohesive.  While heavy cream keeps it that way, half & half will "break" and cause your sauce to curdle and separate and look like you were trying to make cheese instead of sauce.  That said, it'll still taste good, but you won't win any photo contests.  And remember, we eat with our eyes first.  Although, if you're able to get everybody at the table to take their first bite with their eyes closed...or by candlelight, you may be okay.

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