Saturday, 24 March 2012

Tarragon-and-Cream Chicken Breasts



One of the basic recipes I’ve been cooking since I turned 20 is this one. Easy to prepare, tasty and not too expensive. Perfect for a weekday when you come home late from work and don’t want to simply nibble again; one of those evenings when take-away pizza is just not an option, either, because you crave for something a bit more, well, let’s say noble.

What you need: 
  • Chicken breasts (one per person) 
  • A bunch of fresh tarragon 
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 shallot 
  • A glass or two of a dry white wine 
  • Some Garlic powder 
  • Some allspice (spice mixture containing ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg) 
  • Salt, pepper 
  • 40 cl of cream 
  • A drizzle of olive oil 
How to proceed: 
  1. Chop your onion and shallot. 
  2. Chop the tarragon. 
  3. Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan. 
  4. When hot, fry your chicken breasts. 
  5. While frying, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and allspice. 
  6. When the chicken is golden-brown, take it out and keep it warm (in the oven at low heat, for instance). 
  7. Add another drizzle of olive oil, then fry the onion and shallot while scraping with a spatula to retrieve all the juices from the pan. 
  8. When the onion is transparent, pour the dry white wine. 
  9. Let it simmer for at least 10 minutes; the wine has to reduce, and the alcohol has to evaporate, leaving only the taste of the wine behind. 
  10. Now, add the cream and the chopped tarragon. 
  11. Stir and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes; the flavours have to mingle and the sauce has to get a bit thicker. 
  12. If you want the chicken breasts to be perfectly tender, you can add them 5 minutes before serving. They will give off a bit of their spice crust so don’t forget to stir from time to time. 
Serve the chicken breasts with rice or, even better, with pasta. I opted for Tricolori, three-coloured pasta that not only looked nicer on the plates but tasted better (because of the natural colouring: red was tomatoes, green was spinach-and-basil). Really, really yummy, said my tummy!  
Bon appétit!

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