Chicken and leek pasta featuring thyme roasted chicken thighs and leeks in a creamy and rich wholegrain mustard and creme fraiche sauce.
This recipe cooks in a shade under 40 minutes and can be scaled up and down to feed more or less people with little to no extra cooking time.
Creamy Chicken Pasta
Like in many households, pasta does a fair bit of heavy lifting when it comes to feeding us.
This delicious and simple chicken and leek pasta is the latest in a long old line of ways to liven up your mid-week pasta offering.
Leeks sit at the heart of this recipe and I love ’em!
I even sear them off and cook them as a side vegetable in my chicken piccata recipe. They are as far as I am concerned a woefully underused member of the onions family.
They are joined by fabulously flavoured and frugal chicken thighs and roasted with fresh thyme.
Finally, a simple sauce is made with whole-grain mustard, sour and silky creme fraiche and some of the starchy cooking liquid from the pasta. I also use a very similar sauce to this in my ham and mushroom tagliatelle recipe.
If you like the sound of these flavours but want something a little more hearty check out my chicken and leek pie!
Frequently Asked Questions
What pasta should I use?
I use linguine in this recipe but any of the slightly wide long pasta shapes will be fine.
Think fettuccine, tagliatelle all the way up to pappardelle because this sort of pasta is great at holding on to a thick and clingy sauce.
How much salt should I add to pasta water?
Quite unhelpfully it is often said that pasta water should be as salty as the sea. Which is quite frankly no help at all.
I typically work on a tablespoon of salt for every 4 litres (1 quart) of water and then add a generous pinch on top of that.
Is there an alternative to creme fraiche?
Probably the best alternative ingredient in place of creme fraiche in this recipe is sour cream. You could also use full-fat Greek yoghurt, although that is not as good a substitute.
Can I use low-fat creme fraiche?
There is a higher risk of your sauce separating if you use low-fat dairy produce. Your food is still edible, but it looks pretty nasty.
You can get around this by stirring through a little flour (1-2 teaspoons) before cooking. But you do need to ensure you cook the sauce long enough so that the flour is cooked out.
I would personally stick with the full-fat stuff!
This creamy chicken pasta recipe is very much designed to be a one-bowl dinner.
Nothing else really is required, which of course, does not mean that you cannot add more.
All of the softness also lends this recipe to pair really well with something a little crispy too.
I only mention specific brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 28cm or 11″ oven-proof skillet or frying pan.
- 20cm or 8″ saucepan.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
- Kitchen tongs, stirring and serving spoons.
- Quick read meat thermometer (optional).
A hearty and creamy chicken and leek pasta made with linguini and a thick sauce loaded with whole grain mustard and fresh thyme.
- 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
- ½ Tsp Coarse Sea Salt (Plus extra for the pasta water)
- ½ Tsp Black Pepper
- 1 (~300g) Leek
- 2 Spring Onions
- 175g (6oz) Dried Linguini
- 150g (~⅔ Cup) Creme Fraiche
- 1 Tbsp Wholegrain Mustard
- Cut the white part of the leek into rings approximately 1cm thick and finely shred (2mm thick) the green section.
- Heat a frying pan (28cm not non stick) over a high heat and when it is hot add the olive oil.
- Season the chicken thighs with coarse sea salt, black pepper and thyme.
- Sear the chicken (smooth side down first) in the pan for 2 minutes.
- Flip the chicken and add the leeks to the pan then transfer to an oven and cook for 20-25 minutes at 180°C or 350°F. The chicken should reach 73°C or 165°F.
- Cut the spring onions into rounds as finely as you can separating the green and white parts.
- Bring a 20cm or 8" saucepan of water to a boil and season generously with salt (I use 1½ teaspoons in a pan this size).
- Add the pasta to the pan and cook it for 60 seconds less than the packet says.
- Time it so the chicken comes out of the oven 4-5 just before the pasta is ready.
- Take the chicken from the pan and finely shred it and return it to the pan with the leeks and add the white parts of the spring onion.
- Add the wholegrain mustard and creme fraiche and stir to combine.
- Drain the pasta reserving around 125ml (half of a cup) of the cooking water.
- Add the pasta to the pan with the chicken and mix well.
- Stir in as much pasta cooking water as needed to form a silky sauce.
- Sprinkle with the green parts of the spring onion before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 713Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 232mgSodium: 993mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 35g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.