Cock-a-Leekie Soup

A traditional Irish recipe with ingredients not used in Louisiana's everyday cooking. However, once you attempt this recipe you will be delighted with the flavorful results. I serve this personal favorite on St. Patrick's Day, and I always end up sharing the recipe with whoever tastes it.


  • 2 chicken breast, boneless, skinless, (cut into 1/2 inch wide strips)
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-salt broth
  • 1/4 cup prunes, pitted, (cut into 1/4 inch
  • 1/3 cup barley
  • 1 tsp butter, unsalted wide strips)
  • 2 tbsps fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 small leeks (white and pale green parts only), salt to taste cut into match stick-size strips pepper to taste

Soak the barley in water in refrigerator overnight. When ready to use drain. In a 3-quart cast iron sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season to taste using salt and pepper. Sauté until the chicken is just cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Add leeks to the sauce pan and cook over low heat until tender, stirring frequently, 3-4 minutes. Add barley and stir for 2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover partially. Simmer until the barley is tender, approximately 18 minutes. Add chicken, prunes and parsley and simmer for 2 minutes. Season to taste using salt and pepper.

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