On my “about” page, I briefly mention that I was a chalet girl for 6 months. But I owe this time huge credit, as it is where I learnt to cook for big numbers and not let culinary catastrophes phase me… too much! This fail safe chicken tarragon was a regular on the menu during those 6 months. It tastes amazing and is good value for money, making it the perfect week night, dinner party fodder.
- 8 chicken breasts – if you wanted to cut down on the cost of this recipe you could buy less chicken (say 6 breasts for 8 people, depending on how many boys you are catering for) and then slice the breasts into strips which will make it go further or go for chicken thighs instead
- 1 jar of sun dried tomatoes
- half a pint of fresh chicken stock
- 1 small glass of white wine
- decent handful of fresh tarragon
- 2 white onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 300ml double cream
- rice or mash
- peas or green beans
As always, number one priority is to get that oven on and let her heat up to 180 degrees. Then get cracking on browning all the chicken breasts in a mixture of butter and olive oil, until they are a speckled golden brown. They aren’t meant to be cooked through, as they are going in the oven, so don’t fret. This should take about about 3 minutes on each side and I worked in batches of about 3 at a time.
Remove the breasts from the pan and place in your casserole dish. Using the same pan, gently fry the two onions, adding a tiny bit more butter and oil if necessary. Once these are nice and soft add in the two cloves of minced garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes. Pour in the white wine and turn the heat up, allowing this to boil quite rapidly for a couple of minutes before adding in the chicken stock and leaving to simmer for 5 more minutes. Chop up about 3 quarters of your tarragon and bung that into the pan and give it all a stir with a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper.
Drain your sun dried tomatoes from their oil and scatter over the chicken breasts, chopping the bigger ones in half. Add the cream to the sauce and bring this back to a gentle simmer before pouring over the chicken breasts.
Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes. Meanwhile prepare your rice/mash and veg of choice.
Bring the dish out of the oven and slice the chicken breasts in halve. Spoon over plenty of sauce and make sure everyone gets some of those tangy toms. Scatter with the remaining fresh tarragon. This recipe ensures that the chicken should be really juicy and not at all dry. Put any remaining sauce into a jug and pass it round, then tuck in.