Although the original recipe calls for a whole bird to start with, it is okay to use chicken parts, particularly the legs with the thighs attached. You can mix in some breasts if you like, but I prefer to serve them with the wings attached. Whatever you do, don''t use skinless and boneless chicken parts or you will be sorely disappointed. Don't mess around with perfection!
Small roasted red potatoes go particularly well with this dish.
Poulet A L'Estragon
1 1/2 TB chopped tarragon
1 garlic clove crushed
3 TB butter
1 chicken 3 1/2 lbs
2 tsp. oil
1/2 Cup chicken stock
2 TB white wine
1 TB flour
1 TB tarragon leaves
1/2 Cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the chopped tarragon and garlic with half the butter, salt and pepper. Insert it into the cavity of the bird. Tie the legs together and flip the wings under the bird.
Melt the remaining butter and the oil in an oven proof casserole and brown the chicken on all sides. Add the chicken stock and the wine, cover and bake in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes or until tender. The juices must run clear when pierced with a fork in the thigh.
Remove the chicken from the casserole letting all the juice drain back in the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and a kitchen towel and allow to rest.
Skim 1 TB of surface fat from the liquid in the casserole and place in a bowl. Skim the rest of the fat from the casserole and throw it away. Add the flour to the reserved fat and mix until smooth. Add this to the liquid in the casserole and whisk over moderate heat until the sauce boils and thickens.
Strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Add the tarragon leaves and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the cream and mix but do not let it boil. Correct for salt and pepper.
Carve the chicken into large pieces (legs with thighs, breasts with wings). Spoon some of the sauce on top and serve. Pass the sauce.
All photos Lindaraxa