Tarragon Chicken

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58 Tour Eiffel, Paris

“An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosopher, 1844 – 1900

In 2015, we spent 3 glorious days in Paris. It was here where Lara ignited her passion for food. She loved buying pastries from the boulangeries, experiencing new tastes. But the pièce de résistance was dining in 58 Tour Eiffel, 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower. The experience was one in a million; a memory to last forever. But for Lara, she will always remember her tarragon chicken and aligot garlic mash. I have searched through mounds of French cookbooks to find the perfect recipes for her. And here is the Tarragon Chicken, which can be accompanied by aligot.

Tarragon Chicken

Serves 4
1 large chicken * 1½ tbsp tarragon, chopped * 1 garlic clove, chopped * 55g (2oz) butter, softened * 2 tsp olive oil * 150ml (5 floz) chicken stock * 30ml (1 floz) white wine * 1 tbsp plain flour * 1 tbsp tarragon leaves * 150ml (5 floz) double cream * salt & freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6. Mix together the chopped tarragon, garlic and half the butter. Season with salt and pepper, then place inside the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips under. Heat the remaining butter with the oil in a large casserole dish over a low heat and brown the chicken on all sides. Add the chicken stock and wine. Cover the casserole and bake in the oven for 1 hour, 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Pierce the thigh of the chicken with a skewer to see if the juices run clear. Remove the chicken and drain all the juices back into the casserole dish. Cover the chicken with foil and a tea towel to keep warm, then leave the chicken to rest.

To make the sauce: Skim a tablespoon of fat from the cooking liquid and put in a bowl. Skim the remainder of the fat and throw this fat away. Add flour to the reserved fat and mix into a smooth paste. Whisk quickly into the liquid and stir over a medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens. Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan and add the tarragon leaves. Simmer for 2 minutes, then stir in the cream and re-heat without boiling. Season with salt and pepper. Carve the chicken and spoon the sauce over the top.

I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.

There are more recipes in the section THE FRENCH COLLECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.


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