David is coming back from a week-long business trip tonight and I wanted to surprise him with a dish that bears no resemblance to hotel or restaurant food.   Something homey, comforting, and luxurious.

Enter the classic French chicken stew: Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon and Shallots.

I used my own tarragon from the herb garden and made sure to brown it well in my Le Creuset.  I’ll sing the praises of Le Creuset in another post, I’m sure.  Cream, dry white wine, tarragon, broth, lemon, bay leaf, and shallots make for a great accompaniment to free range chicken.

From one Le Creuset....

From one Le Creuset....

 

...to another

...to another

 

I'll pair it with a side of white asparagus with hollandaise and crisp green beans.  Crusty French bread to top it all off and to sop up that tarragon goodness.

I'll pair it with a side of white asparagus with hollandaise and crisp green beans. Crusty French bread to top it all off and to sop up that tarragon goodness.

——–

 

 

Tarragon Chicken Fricassee—Gourmet March 2007

  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken pieces with skin and bone
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté chicken in 2 batches, skin side down first, turning over once, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil from skillet, then cook shallots, garlic, and bay leaf over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened, about 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil. Stir in cream, broth, and 1 tablespoon tarragon, then add chicken, skin side up, and simmer, covered, until just cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered. If necessary, boil sauce until thickened slightly.

Stir in lemon juice, remaining 1/2 tablespoon tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Discard bay leaf; pour sauce over chicken.

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