Sunday, December 19, 2010
Nigella's Chicken with Tarragon Cream Sauce
Again Nigella saves the day during this busy time of year with this jack-rabbit-fast chicken dinner. If you don't like the licorice scent of tarragon, feel free to substitute basil.
Chicken with Tarragon Cream Sauce
* from Nigella Kitchen
* Serves 2
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 fat scallions (green onions) or 4 skinny ones, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon or chives or basil
2 chicken breast fillets, skinless and boneless
couple dashes garlic powder
1/3 vermouth or dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/8 tspn table salt, plus extra for seasoning chicken
1/2 cup heavy cream
white pepper for seasoning
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish
Heat the oil in a pan or dutch oven that has a lid. You want the pan to hold the chicken and sauce comfortably, but not one the chicken will get lost in. Add the green onions, stir, then sprinkle in the dried herbs and stir again. Cook for a couple of minutes, being careful to not let them burn.
Season the chicken on both sides with kosher or sea salt and white pepper and garlic powder then add to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until the first side is light golden brown (if the scallions begin to burn at any point, put them on top of the chicken.)
Turn the chicken over and add the vermouth or wine. Let it bubble away for a couple minutes then lower the heat and put the lid on so that it simmers gently underneath, for ten minutes. When you peak you should see little bubbles in the center, not a static or a violent one either. Remove the chicken to a holding plate, the bring the remaining liquid to a boil and gently stir in the final bit of salt and fresh tarragon and cream.
Let bubble, stirring often, until it thickens slightly - just a couple or three minutes. Check for salt pepper then return the chicken to the sauce to warm through. Check the chicken just before serving to see that it's cooked through - slicing into the thickest part of the breast.
Serve with some sauce ladled over and additional fresh herbs.