Saturday, January 7, 2012

Poached Chicken and Tarragon

I'm reading the most interesting cook book right now and it was the inspiration for this recipe.  Inspiration in that I took the basics and changed it up to make it my own.  (When done with it will do a quick review here and scan the cover etc., so you can track it down for your own use).

For starters, and I've said it before, I'm not the biggest fan of this domesticated bird, mostly because it lacks any real flavor of its own and bad experiences with it while at KFC back in High School.   The fam however loves the stuff.  I've figured how how to keep the breasts moist while cooking it up, I've even figured out that it really is just a flavor delivery device that loves to be sauced.

A couple of things with this recipe.  At the end its really important that you cook the residual poaching liquid down to a few tablespoons before adding the heavy cream.  Not doing so will leave you with a runny sauce.  And yes, this is calling for heavy cream to finish up the sauce as this is a French inspired recipe.  Sometimes its fun to be indulgent and sauce up with the heavy cream.  Not something one should do every day, but once a month or so its good for the soul to do it with little harm to ones overall diet.

For the wine in the poaching liquid I used a dry white we had left over from the night before.  It was a Chardonnay.  I've heard and learned over the years one should use a wine you'd drink instead of the "cooking" wines you buy at the grocery stores.  The flavor really is so much better and its not sullied with extra salt etc.,.

Poached Chicken and Tarragon

  • 4 large chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 C dry white wine
  • 1 T dried tarragon
  • 2 t onion salt
  • 1 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1 c heavy cream

In large covered skillet add the chicken breasts.   Sprinkle on onion salt, pepper and tarragon.  Pour in wine.  Add cover.  Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Turn chicken once during the poaching. Don't worry that the poaching liquid doesn't completely immerse the chicken.

Remove chicken from pan and set aside.  Increase heat and boil down the poaching liquid until reduced to a few tablespoons.  Add heavy cream and whisk in.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes uncovered to thicken.  Return breasts to the sauce and heat through.  

Serve over rice with some sauce spooned over the chicken.

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