Braised Leeks (Poireaux Braisé)
Leeks are an underrated bunch here in the U.S. We take a clue from the French and transform the humble vegetable into a full-flavored and elegant side dish.
Why This Recipe Works
We found that large leeks with sizable white and light green portions, not slender young leeks, were best for our braised leeks recipe. We prepared them by trimming off only the roots at the base and the tough greens at the top and then halving them lengthwise. We decided to brown the leeks on their cuts sides only, thereby eliminating the need to flip them, but first we sprinkled sugar into the skillet before adding the leeks—the sugar’s caramelization was compensation for flavor lost by browning the leeks on only one side. For braising liquids for our braised leeks recipe, we liked a combination of chicken broth and white wine—the broth gave the sauce backbone while the wine added acidity—and we threw in some thyme for savory herbal notes.