For years, it was Ina Garten on “Barefoot Contessa” - my favorite time of day, an escape to the Hamptons for recipe testing and walking on the beach. But I’ve seen every episode now and every way she has of making chicken for Jeffrey’s Friday homecomings. Watching Laura Calder make French food that intimidates me is my new favorite. Sadly, there are only two seasons of “French Food at Home,” and I’ve already seen each one three times.
I was testing this recipe one night when Casey called to tell me she had invited several people over, but it was BYOF - Bring Your Own Food. PERFECT TIMING, as always. Like my Aunt Anne and Aunt Peggy, Casey and I will often call or text each other at precisely the same moment after days of not seeing each other or talking. I headed two doors down to her house with this platter of Tarragon Chicken, and her guests’ frozen pizzas stayed in the freezer.
1 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 shallot, minced
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup crème fraiche
1/2 cup chopped fresh tarragon
Lemon juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
~ Melt butter with the oil in large skillet over high heat.
~ Season chicken pieces and brown in batches.
~ Put all chicken back in pan and add chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium.
~ Cover and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
~ Remove chicken to a plate and keep warm.
~ Reduce leftover juices until sticky. Add shallot and wine to create sauce, about 5 minutes.
~ Add crème fraiche and 1/2 the tarragon.
~ Reduce again to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes.
~ Season sauce with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
~ Place chicken in sauce and turn to coat.
~ Transfer to platter, pouring sauce over chicken, and sprinkling remaining tarragon.