March 12, 2005

Chicken in Tarragon Cream

Chicken in Tarragon Cream
from The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld

If you're an herb lover, this dish, which takes 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish, will become a standard in your repertoire.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 3 TBSP)
1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 to 3 TBSP coarsely chopped fresh French tarragon
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken about 1 minute each side until they begin to brown slightly. Transfer to plate.

Reduce the heat in the skillet to low. Add the shallot and cook, stirring continuously, until softened but not browned, less than 1 minute. Add the vermouth and cook 30 seconds, then add the cream and half the tarragon. Return chicken to pan and adjust heat so cream gently simmers. Cook until chicken is just cooked through (the cookbook says 4-6 minutes, mine took about 8).

Transfer the chicken to a warmed serving platter or individual dinner plates. The sauce should be thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. If it's too thin, continue to simmer for about 1 minute. Stir in remaining tarragon and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over chicken and serve right away.

Serves 4.

Notes: It's actually been two to three weeks since I made this. I have quite a backlog of posting to do at this point. However, I know this cookbook has never let me down yet, and that still holds true. Though my memories of this dish are not as clear and vital as I'd like, I know it was good. Just perhaps not as remarkable as some others. Faint praise, perhaps. Mise en place is particularly germane in this case as the ingredients are added to the skillet in quick succession. Otherwise, the ease of making this recipe has much to recommend it as well.

Posted by Jennifer at March 12, 2005 9:32 AM

I love that book. I have broken the spines of two copies now. Which is really sad because the second one is signed by Jerry (and references the death of the first book).

Have you tried the Apple/Lovage/Leek halibut (or is it sturgeon?) recipe? We had it with Columbia River sturgeon at the HerbFarm restaraunt and it's since become a standard at our house. The ragout has been used on every form of pale flesh we can find (fish, chicken, pork) and while the chicken was not the greatest match, the fish and pork are awesome. I looked this morning and I still don't see any lovage peeking through the soil, but they should be soon.

Posted by: kitchenMage at March 12, 2005 5:36 PM
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