Tarragon Chicken

This is a slow-cooker version of a classic French dish. The recipe requires a careful saute of the chicken pieces before assembling the dish for the slow-cooker. We recommend using a heavy saute pan and preparing the chicken in batches. If you saute the chicken in two batches, use half the butter and olive oil for each batch. Don’t crowd the saute pan. The source for this dish is The Gourmet Slow Cooker by Lynn Alley, pages 56-57.

The French call tarragon the”king of herbs.” Some people say the flavor is like licorice, but tarragon has a broader flavor profile than that; there is a sweetness to the herbal flavor as well. Tarragon flavor is more potent if added after cooking. This recipe makes use of that principle, too.

Uncertain what makes a white wine dry? It has to do with a low sugar content. Look here for some help.

We found this recipe went well with egg noodles.

¾ cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 chicken, cut into serving pieces and skinned

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock

6 sprigs tarragon

1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half

1. Combine the ¾ cup flour and the salt in a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to the bag, several pieces at a time, and shake to coat completely.

2. Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat and add the butter and oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned on both sides. Using tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain, then arrange in the slow cooker.

3. Set the saute pan over medium-high heat and add the onion and the 2 Tbsp flour. Saute, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Gradually add the wine, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker and lay 2 sprigs of the tarragon on top.

4. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 8 hours, until the chicken is tender. At 3 to 4 hours, the chicken will still be firm and hold its shape. At 6 to 8 hours, the meat will be falling off the bone. Pour in the cream and stir well. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes to heat thoroughly.

5. While the chicken finishes cooking, strip the leaves from the remaining 4 sprigs of tarragon and chop coarsely. Remove and discard the tarragon sprigs from the slow cooker and stir in the freshly chopped tarragon.

6. Divide the chicken and sauce among plates and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

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