A dish without a region, this is served pretty much all over France, in homes as well as restaurants. It’s quick to make, if you get your butcher to cut up the chicken, and the flavour of tarragon lifts this out of the ordinary.
Make this dish midweek and you’ll have a lovely supper in under an hour, or serve it for your next dinner party and it will seem as if you slaved away all day.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 1 free-range corn-fed chicken, about 2 kg, cut
- into 6–8 pieces
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- A sprig of thyme
- 2–3 sprigs of flat leaf parsley
- A bunch of tarragon
- 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1Melt the butter and oil in a large frying pan with a lid. Add the chicken pieces and cook for about 5 minutes, until brown. Put the browned chicken pieces on a plate and season with salt and pepper.
2Add the carrots and shallot to the pan and cook, stirring for 1–2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and add water to cover half-way. Add the thyme, parsley and a few sprigs of tarragon. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
3Meanwhile, strip the leaves from the remaining tarragon, chop them finely and set aside. Add the stems to the cooking chicken.
4Remove the chicken from the pan and put it in a serving dish. Remove and discard the tarragon stems.
5Increase the heat and cook the sauce until it has reduced by half. Strain and return the sauce to the pan. Stir in the crème fraîche and the chopped tarragon. Heat briefly (do not let it boil as the cream will split) and pour over the chicken. Serve immediately.
Recipe taken from our sister magazine France Today.