Creamy Tarragon Chicken
I can’t really claim ownership or inspiration for this recipe, I mean, it is a classic. Chicken, tarragon, mushrooms, cream – that’s your base, but what my contribution has been is tailoring it to my own taste and probably simplifying it a little. Another diversion from the classic I’ve allowed myself is from most standard recipes is I like to use a bit of the old Noilly Prat, most others use white wine, which of course you are free to do, I wouldn’t expect you to go out and buy a bottle of Noilly just for this dish. This is a great warming supper for a cold night, hearty and filling.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
1 x tbsp of olive oil
2 x tsps. unsalted butter
2 x medium sized leeks, chopped finely
4 x large garlic cloves, chopped finely
8 x chicken thighs
50ml / 1.7 fl. oz. Noilly Prat (if you don’t have this you can use white wine)
10 x sprigs of fresh tarragon, chopped finely
400ml / 13.5 fl. oz. x good quality chicken stock (no cubes, please)
250gr / 9 oz. chestnut mushrooms, chopped roughly
125gr / 4.5 oz. cubed bacon
50ml / 1.7 fl. oz. single cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil and butter and add the chicken to the pan to brown. If you move the meat too soon once it’s in the pan it will stick, so resist the temptation and leave it a good few minutes on each side. You may need to do this in batches as all the surface of the meat will need to touch the bottom of the pan so it can turn golden brown.
- Remove the chicken and set it aside on a plate.
- Add the bacon to brown, without cleaning the pan. This should take a couple of minutes.
- Add the leeks garlic and about 80% of the tarragon. Turn the heat down a little and allow the leeks to soften, this should take about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Put the chicken back into the pan.
- Turn the heat back up and add the Noilly Prat – it should hit the heat of the pan with a good sizzle.
- Add the stock and a little salt and pepper – err on the side of caution with the salt as the amount you need will depend on the saltiness of your stock.
- Cover with a close fitting lid and allow to simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through. This will take about 20 minutes. You can check when the chicken is ready by inserting a knife into the thickest part of the meat close to the bone and if the juice runs clear, it’s cooked.
- Add the mushrooms, the rest of the tarragon and the cream. Stir through and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes until the mushrooms are ready.
- Check the seasoning and serve.
Tips and Variations
- I like to serve this with some boiled white rice or potatoes and maybe some broccoli.
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