In preparation the for the next week or two of guests and family coming and going I so love to have easy meals prepared and ready to serve at a minutes notice. My fridge currently is so full and I am missing my grand kitchen and double door refrigerator. Moving to New York and giving up a grand house with an dream cooks kitchen I must say took some time to acclimate to. I have found with the right tools a small space is perfectly fine. Organization skills are key though.
I do hope you enjoy this Holiday blog I have created. It is taking me down memory lane, tried and true recipes and some new ones. This time of year now that I am in New York the farmer’s market is my go-to for inspiration.
This recipes key ingredient is tarragon. Tarragon is a foreign herb to most traditional American cooking. I have grown to truly love it during my years of travels to France. Fresh tarragon is really a beautiful enhancement to this dish if you can find it.
I served this dish with my gratin dauphinois which you can find on this blog.
Holiday Main Course ~ Una’s French Chicken Tarragon
12 Chicken thighs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 shallots finely chopped
3 garlic cloves finely minced
1/4 cup fresh tarragon if available (if not, 1 tablespoon of dried)
2-4 fresh sprigs of tarragon for garnish before serving
1 1/2 cups chicken broth/stock
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup creme fraîche
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
Let it stand for approximately 30-40 minutes at room temperature.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put an enameled cast iron dutch one over medium heat. ( I used 2 of my deep cast iron pans for this and split the recipe in two)
Add the butter and shallots.
Sauté, stirring until softened and slightly browned.
Add the chopped tarragon and garlic.
Cook for a minute ( do not let garlic brown).
Arrange chicken thighs in the pans in one layer.
Add the broth and wine and bring to a simmer.
Cover pans and place in oven on the middle shelf.
Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and place thighs on a platter. Cover loosely to keep warm.
Strain the pan juices through a fine sieve into a saucepan.
Place the pan over medium to high heat.
Add the creme fraîche, lemon zest and simmer until the sauce thickens….about 6-10 minutes. I love using a cast iron saucepan for this.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken in a casserole dish with a lid.
Pour sauce over top and stir to immerse chicken into the sauce.
This can be refrigerated the day before serving. A few hours before serving bring dish to room temperature and warm in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Time can vary depending on your oven.
Garnish with fresh tarragon prior to serving. Also, a sprinkle of fresh chives could enhance the flavor as well.