2 pounds chicken pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 sprigs tarragon (plus additional for garnish)
2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup crème frâiche
Preheat oven to 375º. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and brown the chicken pieces on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Remove the chicken to a baking sheet and place in oven 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. While the chicken cooks, make the sauce. Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of oil, and sauté the shallot until aromatic. Pour in the wine, add the tarragon sprigs (whole), and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until wine is reduced by half. Add the chicken stock and simmer until reduced by half. Remove the tarragon sprigs and stir in the mustard and crème frâiche. Remove the chicken from the oven and place on a serving platter. Add any accumulated juices to the sauce, simmering until incorporated. Adjust seasonings to taste, and pour sauce over chicken. Garnish with chopped tarragon.
Editor’s Note: During Chez Cherie’s Summer Bistro class, Cherie told those assembled not to hold back, but to massage the seasonings into the chicken. She also insisted that the wine with which one’s chooses to cook should be a wine one would actually drink. She also demonstrated the time spent stirring the sauce is a perfect opportunity for sampling said wine.
Tarragon sprigs are used in the sauce so that they can be removed as a whole once their job of infusing flavor is fulfilled. Otherwise, Cherie pointed out, if one puts in chopped tarragon, the herb darkens as it cooks, leaving unflattering specks in an otherwise aesthetically pleasing sauce.
In regard to reducing the sauce, Cherie illustrated standing the top of a wooden spoon into the sauce. The liquid will leave a mark, she said, even as it dries. Simply re-insert the spoon into the sauce to determine whether or not sauce has reduced sufficiently.
1401 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge 91011
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Chez Cherie’s upcoming classes:
Sauce Sorcery, Oct. 22nd
Autumn Flavors, Oct. 29th
Trader Joe’s class, Nov. 5th
Tapas Party, Hands-On!, Nov. 12th
Thanksgiving 101, Nov. 19th
All classes begin at 6:30 p.m. See full details here