Rouses Supermarket had an excellent sale on whole chickens the other week and I wound up with 3 of them in my freezer. It was an easy matter to defrost one for dinner. I wanted to make something a little different so I decided on tarragon chicken. George Graham is right that the cream sauce is awesome on mashed potatoes.
I used as my stepping off point his recipe from Acadiana Table. I omitted both the bell peppers (I didn’t have any in the house) and wine. Some of the folks coming to dinner are in recovery and it was easy enough to double the chicken stock instead. I also took all the parts of the chicken I cut up (neck, backbone, wings, etc) and put them in a zip top bag in the freezer for the next time I make stock.
1 whole chicken cut into quarters
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves, for garnish
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Cut the chicken into quarters, scissors work best here. Sprinkle both sides of the divided chicken with salt and pepper.
In a heavy skillet with lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Lightly brown chicken on all sides. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Add the onions to the skillet and sauté until they turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the fresh tarragon as well as one cup of the chicken stock (add 1 cup white wine here if you are using that instead). Let cook 5 minutes more then add the rest of the chicken stock and cream. Stir constantly while bringing up to a boil.
Return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is done to an internal temperature of 165ºF. About 20 minutes in, turn the chicken over, replace the lid and continue to cook. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan. Pour the pan liquid into a blender and pulse until it is smooth. Return to the skillet and bring back to a simmer. Cook for around 10 minutes more, stirring regularly until it reduces to the optimal thickness. Taste for salt and pepper once it has been reduced.
Serve with mashed potatoes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and the potatoes. Garnish with chopped fresh tarragon, if desired.
Author’s note: I posted this and someone pointed out I didn’t included a mashed potato recipe. Here it is!