Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chicken with Tarragon

Wow, I have such a feeling of accomplishment to say that the very first recipe I made I knocked out of the park!

I made the Chicken Tarragon recipe from my Grandma Mary’s cookbook. It was a recipe card that was shoved in the back of the book in a plastic sandwich baggie. (So I have no idea if she actually ever made this or not..)

The card originally came from a deck of recipe cards called the 60– Minute Gourmet. Pierre Franey, famed French Chef who had the TV show 60-Minute Gourmet and also wrote the rather famous 60-Minute Gourmet column in the New York Times.

Below I give you the exact recipe as it’s written, I will note that I used a Rocky Chicken, and those damn things are so big (just a tad over 5 pounds) that I doubled everything, although the cooking time didn’t change much.

Chicken with Tarragon

1 2 - 2 ½ lb Chicken, split in half as for broiling.
Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp finely chopped shallots
2 Tsp finely chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried tarragon
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup water

1. If the backbone is still attached to one of the chicken halves, hack it away.
This will hasten the cooking. Reserve the backbone. Also, it’s best to sever the joint that connects the thighbones with the legs. Do not cut through but leave the thighs and legs otherwise attached.

*If you don’t know anything about cutting up a chicken, I suggest checking this site out.

2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

3. Heat the butter in a heavy skillet large enough to hold the whole chicken. Add the chicken, skin side down. Surround it with the gizzard, liver, heart, neck and backbone
(and if you are lucky like we were, Rocky tossed 3 extra hearts into our chicken! and yes really I used them!)

4. Cook about 10 minutes until golden brown on the skin side. Turn and cook about 5 minutes longer. Remove the chicken and set aside.

5. To the skillet add the shallots and cook briefly. Add the tarragon and wine. Stir to dissolve the brown particles that cling to the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the water.

6. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin side up and cover. Cook about 15 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, basting often, about 5 minutes longer or until the chicken is thoroughly tender and nicely glazed.

Technical stuff:
Makes 4 servings (original portions) as a main dish.
Difficulty: Easy

Time : Less than 60 minutes

Served with: 2008 Simi Pinot Gris, which was a great choice. Also used in recipe.

Overall ranking: New Favorite!

Reheat Well?: Didn't try it. But appears it will.

Served with: White rice cooked in chicken stock, and a side salad.

Comments: Tender, juicy, moist, loved how the outside carmelized in the sauce. The skin was cooked perfectly. Nothing was wasted (see use of gizzard, hearts, neck etc) It is essentially the perfect "bonepicker" meal and my Chief Commentator thought the inners a tasty treat.

Things I'd do differently next time: I would definately use a smaller chicken, although it came out amazing, trying to get that thing stuffed into the pan was a bit of work.

Looking forward in Thyme: Fish!

1 comment:

  1. That sounds lovely!!! I so want to try it...if I ever get brave enough to do the chicken with bones thing, this will be my first recipe! Looking forward to the fish :)